Udta Kashmir: More than 6 million young people affected by drug addiction; 90% of users in the 17-33 age group

Srinagar, November 14: Heaven on earth has become a paradise for drug addicts.

Official figures reveal that around six Lakh people are affected by drug-related problems, which represents around 4.6% of the population of the Union territory. Surprisingly, 90 percent of users are between 17 and 33 years old.

During the first meeting of the State-level Committee of the Narcos Coordinating Center held on Friday under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar, it was informed that, according to a consumer survey, Jammu -and Kashmir has 6 lakh of people affected by drugs. related issues.

He was informed that Jammu and Kashmir is located in close proximity to the Golden Crescent which produces 80 percent of the world’s opium and is considered the main source of the illicit drug trade.

The meeting defined the main lines of the project to combat the drug threat in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chief Secretary stressed the need to compile data on poppy and cannabis production in Jammu and Kashmir as well as on cross-border transport to assess the presence of these drugs and their synthetic derivatives at J&K.

To combat illicit poppy cultivation, Dr Mehta led the Anti-Narcotics Working Group (ANTF) in convergence with the excise and agriculture departments; map expected cultivation areas and take corrective action for the destruction of illegal cultivation, both on private and government land.

ANTF has further been asked to formulate an action plan to prevent such cultivation in the coming season.

Observing that the threat of drug use and addiction has dramatically increased in Jammu and Kashmir in recent years, the Chief Secretary called on those concerned to improve the conviction rate in related cases drugs while simultaneously focusing on the appropriate counseling and rehabilitation of drug addicts. youth.

Data released by the Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (IMHANS) in Kashmir reveals that there have been 3,538 admissions since the start of the pandemic last year. Interestingly, 12% of OPD participants were first-time users who used drugs during the lockdown period. Additionally, 24% of drug addicts had relapsed during the lockdown.

Data available from the police show that 22 kilograms of heroin worth around Rs. 100 crore were seized in the first six months of this year. No less than 306 cases of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) have been recorded and 445 drug traffickers have been arrested. Last year, 1,132 drug-related cases were recorded and 1,672 people involved were arrested. Of these, 30 drug traffickers were arrested under the Public Security Act (PSA).

The only bright side is that the poppy cultivated area in Kashmir has declined by more than 77 percent this year. Through an extensive anti-narcotics campaign and awareness campaign by religious leaders and Panchayat Raj (PRI) institutions, poppy cultivation has been contained to a large extent.

Figures released by the J&K Excise Department reveal that the poppy crop spread over more than 631 canals of land was destroyed in the Kashmir Valley until June 4.

However, there is no slacking off in drug abuse. During the lockdown, people witnessed financial, emotional and other stresses that they were unable to cope with. So in some cases, either as an escape or just as a negative coping mechanism, people started to take drugs. A 2015 study by Médecine Sans Frontières (MSF) found that 45% of the people of Kashmir suffer from distress and it has been about six years since then too filled with trauma.

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