Govt involving officials to combat drug abuse in J&K

SRINAGAR, SEP 28: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has taken steps to combat the growing issue of drug abuse in the Union Territory. Over the past two years, there have been 1636 drug-related cases registered, with an average of three to four cases daily.

To address this problem, officials from various departments, including Anganwari workers and ASHA workers, will be involved in identifying drug abuse victims and facilitating their rehabilitation.

The Health Department will conduct counselling sessions for drug addicts and ensure access to substitute drugs for home detoxification. Additionally, research, surveys, and impact assessments on substance use will be conducted.

The Rural Development Department will collaborate with Panchayat representatives to identify drug users.

An official said efforts will also be made to engage youth in sports activities to divert their attention away from drugs.

“There are many teams who are working for the engagement of youth in sports to stop them from diverting towards other activities,” the official said.

They have been tasked with promoting youth engagement and sports activities to chalk out modalities and prepare a road map for finalising the programme pertaining to sports and youth engagement policy.

A doctor at GMC Srinagar emphasized the prevalence of drug addiction across the valley, affecting both young and older individuals. “The easy availability of substances is a significant contributing factor, making it crucial to raise awareness about the consequences of drug abuse and to address the supply chain,” the doctor said.

The J&K government had previously formulated a drug de-addiction policy in 2018, involving 14 governmental departments to tackle various aspects of substance abuse.

Furthermore, efforts to develop sports infrastructure in the region are seen as a vital strategy to counter the drug menace, particularly in areas like South Kashmir where drug availability is high.

A senior police official said that the government was taking measures to develop sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir. “There is the easy availability of drugs, especially in south Kashmir. We can counter this drug menace only through sports. The government has been promoting sports under different programmes which has brought a visible positive change on the ground,” the official added.

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