SRINAGAR: Forget violence, drug trafficking is posing the biggest threat to Jammu and Kashmir.
Data released by Jammu and Kashmir police reveal that 1132 drug-related cases were registered in 2020. Around 1672 persons involved in drug smuggling and peddling were arrested. Around 35 drug peddlers were booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).
Likewise, 152.18 kgs of heroin were seized in 2020. Besides, 563.61kgs of charas/ganja and 22230.48kgs opium/poppy/cannabis derivatives were seized during the year. Around 339603 capsules, 57925 intoxicating bottles, and 265 intoxicative Injections were also seized during the anti-narcotics drive this year.
“We have made huge drug recoveries across Jammu and Kashmir. Police have worked hard to bust the narco trade. Many cases were challaned. Even some arrests were made outside Jammu and Kashmir to break the supply chain,” said Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police, Jammu, and Kashmir.
Off late, thousands of youth in Kashmir have become addicted to drugs. Not only boys but even girls are also falling into the trap of drugs.
According to doctors, three percent of total drug abusers comprise women in Kashmir. Of whom 2% are iatrogenic and the rest 1% are consuming drugs due to psychological problems, relationship failures, and family conflicts.
Official figures point out a steady increase in drug addiction cases across Kashmir in the last few years.
Figures of SMHS hospital’s Drug De-addiction Centre reveal that 489 patients were treated in the Outpatients Department (OPD) in 2016-2017. The figures rose to 3622 in 2017-18 and 5113 in 2018-19. From April to June 2019, 1095 patients were treated in the OPD of SMHS hospital’s Drug De-addiction Centre.
Data shows that the number of patients admitted during 2015-2016 was 116. The number increased to 203 in 2015 -2016. Around 207 were admitted in 2016- 2017 followed by 374 between 2017-2018. The number increased to 624 in 2018-2019.
Police figures reveal that 21871 patients have been treated in their Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Center Srinagar from February 2008 to May 2019. Of whom 2315 were admitted in the indoor patients’ department.
“Unemployment is the biggest reason for the youth to get hooked to drugs. Another reason is the easy availability. And the third reason is peer pressure, which means when one of the friends get involved in the abuse other friends getting attracted. Now school-going students are addicted to these substances”, said a doctor.