World Drug Day
Post by on Monday, June 27, 2022
June 26th was observed as The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking across the globe. This year the theme of the day was ‘Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crisis’. The main aim of this day is to strengthen action and raise awareness in achieving the goal of a world free of drug abuse. Over the years drug abuse has gripped the youth in the UT and is a serious concern. Despite the fact that many reports are issued on a regular basis, the menace requires increased attention from all sections of the society. Not denying the fact that this day no doubt see efforts from the concerned in the form of events organized; nonetheless, there is a pressing need to introspect on these special moment efforts and measures taken or to be taken to bridle the myriad problems that come along with drug and substance abuse. Although some work has been done to get to the facts as surveys, still comprehensive and precise information/studies on drug and substance abuse in the UT is needed. According to some reports the valley has got over 24 lakh substance abusers and this tells about the gravity of the problem. Many health experts are of the opinion that the graph of drug abuse in J&K is rising at an alarming rate in the last five years. There are two facets of the bigger problem of drug abuse in the UT in general and Kashmir valley in particular, on which enquiries must be based. One is relating the “why part” – why are the cases piling up despite campaign and admonitions. There is a belief that large number of youth are falling for drugs. Such a belief needs to be substantiated with evidences, which is possible by more surveys and studies. It is not only to get an accurate picture but also to know underlying reasons. The second, equally important aspect is that of drug trafficking. From opioids to prescription drugs, the chain of distribution and also the production has to be closely monitored. With easy availability or access to drugs and substances, the abuse is likely to occur. If the availability of drugs and substances classified as being abused is rampant in the UT it puts a question mark on the working of law enforcement agencies. From where are the drugs springing up, it is a serious question that needs to be answered. Both possession and procurement of drugs for illicit use must be dealt with sternly. As the problem is not restricted to an individual or family only, the responsibility of fighting drug abuse has to be shared by the public collectively. It is a social obligation that cannot be totally dismissed by any stakeholder in the society. A collective cause can be the best preventive medicine to treat this disease. No nation can afford to lose its young generation to drugs. Therefore more holistic approaches are needed to win the war against illicit use of drugs and substances; approaches that would cut through and across the sections of the society.