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Experts suggest ‘effective communication, religious counselling’ to fight drug abuse

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Srinagar, Jun 29: Given the grim scenario of drug abuse, Valley-based experts have come up with suggestions to tackle the growing menace. Over the last few years, the Valley has seen an alarming rise in the incidence of substance abuse especially among the youngsters. Data shows an 85% increase in the number of drug and substance abuse cases since 2014. In order to sensitize people about the ill-effects of drug-addiction, the “Centre for youth Development”, a non-government organization (NGO) in collaboration with J&K Bank, have published a handbook on “Drug Abuse Prevention”. The booklet draws on the behavioral, physical, and psychological impact incurred with substance abuse coupled with expert opinions including Dr. Muzaffar Khan (Director Drug De-Addiction Center PCR) and Prof. Arshad Hussain (Department of Psychiatry GMC Srinagar). Experts point out that commonly used substances used in Srinagar and their side effects. “Smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco are both carriers of the highly addictive drug called nicotine. Individuals who routinely devour nicotine and after that abruptly stop encounter withdrawal side effects, which may include: longings, a feeling of void, tension, trouble in centering or focusing,” the booklet reads. Another commonly used drug in youth is Cannabis. “Cannabis affects brain development. When people begin using cannabis as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory and learning functions,” it reads. It stress on the role of parents in identifying the symptoms of drug abuse, understanding the changes, and the ways to develop an effective communication with children. “Ensure you put aside time to go through with your children. Appreciate their interests and build up a routine for getting things done with them,” experts have suggested. They have urged the parents to become keen listeners. “Demonstrating that you’re arranged and willing to listen will enable your children to feel greater about tuning in to you. Amid a discussion make an effort not to intrude on them or respond in a way that will stop whatever you’re examining,” the booklet points out suggestions from experts. In the booklet, experts have suggested on being honest with children, keeping calm and practicing patience, avoiding conflict and discussing the risk factors. Experts believe that religious counselling could play a pivotal role in fighting drug abuse.