Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to involve Anganwari workers and ASHAs in identifying drug abuse victims so that they could be sent to rehabs.
Last year, the government launched a ‘drug-free J&K’ campaign also known as Nasha Mukt Jammu and Kashmir Abhiyaan to fight against the growing drug addiction, particularly among youth.
To ensure the mission delivers results at the ground level, the administration has assigned tasks to every government department to devise a strategy to eradicate the menace.
Official sources said the Social Welfare Department has been tasked to involve Anganwari workers and ASHA workers in identifying drug abuse victims and their rehabilitation.
“Anganwari workers and ASHA workers work at ground level and they can be effective in identifying drug abusers and raise awareness among people through sustained campaigns,” they said.
Similarly, the rural development department has been directed by the government to coordinate with Panchayat representatives for the identification of drug users and facilitating the passing of resolutions by Gram Sabhas to check the menace, official sources said.
School and Higher Education Departments have been directed to inform students about ill-effects of drug abuse on a regular basis.
“The education department has already passed on directions to government as well as private institutes to disseminate information about drug abuse and its effects. The schools produce special segments for morning assemblies, annuals days, teachers’ days, and other occasions,” the officials said.
Likewise, Health Department has been directed to hold counseling sessions with drug addicts and ensure the availability of adequate substitute drugs for home detoxification besides taking up research, surveys, and impact assessments on substance use, they said.
Other departments including Urban Local Bodies, Transport Department, and Floriculture Department have been tasked to implement strategies to assist the government in making Nasha Mukht Jammu and Kashmir.
”Urban Local Bodies will spread the message on drug abuse in the localities under their jurisdiction through mobile vans, conduct regular checks on the activities of the public in parks, hold regular sessions of sanitation workers and in slum areas regarding ill-effects of drugs, etc. The transport department is supposed to ensure active and intense participation of transport associations in the awareness campaign and manage the displaying of ill effects of drugs on both public and private transport vehicles while as Floriculture department is required to ensure that all gardens under its administrative control are not misused by drug victims/peddlers,” the officials said.
Pertinently, a survey by the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (IMHANS), Kashmir has revealed that substance abuse in the valley was as high as 2.87 percent (of the population).