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Breakups to family conflicts: 3% of drug addicts in Kashmir are women

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Srinagar: Twenty-two-year-old Sadiya (name changed) was overwhelmed with guilt when her father caught her consuming drugs.

Infuriated by her actions, her father banished her from home leaving her to the mercy of God.

 

“Two years ago, my father caught me consuming drugs. My life went downhill and I froze for a moment. I didn’t know what to say and how to defend myself. It was for the first time that I faced my father’s wrath. He told me to leave home and I had no choice. So I left home in my mother’s absence,” said Sadiya.

In fact, Sadiya had started consuming drugs after a bitter breakup with her boyfriend. “I had a breakup. The pain of betrayal was unbearable for me. I became depressed. Without giving it a second thought I started taking drugs not realizing that it could ruin everything in my life. When my father caught me red-handed, it changed everything. I was left only with guilt and remorse,” she said.

It was a Good Samaritan doctor who took care of Sadiya and reunited her with the family. She is now living a normal life and pursuing BBA. “I went to a rehabilitation center in Srinagar where doctors helped me get rid of drugs. One of the doctors took me to his house and provided me with food and shelter. Later he reunited me with my family,” she said.

Sadiya is not an isolated case. According to doctors, three percent of total drug abusers comprise women in Kashmir. “There are 3% female drug abusers in Kashmir. Of whom 2% are iatrogenic and the rest 1% are consuming drugs due to psychological problems, relationship failures, and family conflicts,” said Dr. Saleem Yousuf, a psychiatrist at IMHANS, Srinagar.

Sensing pain, civil society groups, and artists have come forward to create awareness and keep youth away from the menace of drugs.

“My heart aches when I see young people taking drugs. Kashmir has already lost one generation to bullets. Now we may lose another to drugs. Many young citizens have come forward to fight against this menace. We are trying to inspire the young generation with our art and keep them away from drugs,” said Ovais Beigh, a local Kashmiri singer and guitarist.