Let’s put up a bigger fight

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A report on the extent of substance abuse in Jammu and Kashmir was delivered to both chambers of Parliament on Friday by the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment.

Surprisingly, the survey found that there are an estimated 13.50 lakh adult drug users in the UT, the majority among who inject heroin. The anticipated number of drug users was broken down into two distinct age groups by the committee of 27 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members: minors between the ages of 10 and 17 and adults between the ages of 18 and 75.

Around 1,68,700 kids between the ages of 10 and 17, were found to be drug users in J&K, using drugs like marijuana, opiates, sedatives, cocaine, amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), inhalants, and hallucinogens.

Jammu and Kashmir’s security forces are renowned for their counter-terrorism efforts. They have effectively worked together with the local government to obstruct Pakistan’s plans and those of its allies in the Valley. As the insurgency supported by Pakistan has subsided, the security services have turned their attention to narcotics dealers.

Though the government and the police are actively involved in clearing the streets and the youth of Kashmir of drugs, it is proving to be more difficult than anticipated. The drug networks are so interwoven and big that people from all age groups, genders and backgrounds seem to be totally invested in making Kashmir a hell on earth.

The efforts of the security agencies and the administration are proving to be helpful in preventing the youth from getting involved in drug-addiction. Conferences and counselling melas are continuously being organised in schools and colleges to make the youth aware of the dangers of drug abuse. The efforts are appreciable and are certainly offering the youth an insight on why to stay away from drugs; but this war needs more people and more power to make Kashmir a drug-free heaven once again.

 

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