Drug addiction among youth

Allia Iqbal Alishan
Most people of India probably still believe the biggest threat to our national security is terrorism. But I don’t think so. I feel biggest threat to the nation is “Threat of drugs” which is polluting the brain of people especially youth and killing them silently in a much more speed then thay are being killed in terrorism. The menace of Drug addiction is eating ours society.
Let me quote a Japanese proverb. “First the man takes the drink; then the drink takes the man”. Every statistics related to the menace of Drug addiction in the state of Jammu& Kashmir is alarming. Pertinently, J&K, which is otherwise a conservative society, too has also not been able to safeguard its youth from this dangerous menace.
A recent statistics of the J&K Drug De-addiction Center Srinagar indicate that 80,000 people are addicted to narcotics. Over the past few years instances of suicides and deaths caused by drug overdose have been coming to the fore. All the concerned voices are pained and worried over the growing drug addiction in Jammu Kashmir.
A pilot study by a non-governmental organization ‘Concerned About Universal Social Empowerment’ in which it took a sample of 610 students revealed shocking results. In the study, near about 22 percent graduates, 6 percent post graduates and over 2 percent PhD holders have been found involved in drug addiction.
A systematic study on the same was also recently carried by Dr Pirzada Amin, Head- Department of Social Work, University of Kashmir in which he revealed that 40 percent of the youngsters fall prey to drug abuse which includes both boys and girls of the age group between 16-25 years. The study has mentioned reasons responsible for the increased drug abuse in J&K. The foremost reason is manifested in the socio-psychological aspects of youth. Due to the ongoing turbulent situation in the State, the youth are facing enormous problems of this nature due to the political instability and unemployment scenario. Moreover, due to poor industrial structure and low status of private sector in State, problem of unemployment among youth has been causing great social unrest.
The political upheaval prevalent in our state during the last more than 20 years has been the most prominent factor in triggering an explosion in the drug abuse spread. The continuous sense of insecurity and threat to life and property has resulted in the emotional instability of the population in general and of youth in particular. With partial or complete sense of frustration, youth are luring to the abuse of drug addiction, as an attempt to escape from the harsh realities of life. It is thus realized that drug abuse is not only a problem arising out of availability of drugs but it has a great deal to do with the social conditions which create the demand for or the need for the consumption of such substances.
Study reveals that different agencies, institutions, organizations and individuals can play an important role in prevention of drug abuse. Majority of respondents i.e. 59 percent were of the opinion that government can play an important role in drug prevention, 42 percent acknowledged the role of family, 38 percent pointed out educational institutions role, 32 percent focused on Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), 27 percent friends and 19 percent advocated the role of religious leaders in the prevention of drug abuse. I appreciate former Chief Minister Mr Omar Abdullah who termed drug-abuse as the worst enemy of civilization and most dangerous than militancy in the state but it is matter of concern that state of Jammu & Kashmir has no policy on drugs is to be done them the debates.
Prior to launch, a well planned crusade against drug addiction, we must understand that that addiction develops when a person becomes physically, psychologically and emotionally dependent  most often to drugs or alcohol. It physical affects human beings. It Damage Organs, Imbalance Hormone, Weaken the immune system, increase susceptibility to infections , cause Cancer, cause Pre-Natal and Fertility problems and Gastrointestinal Diseases in addition, chronic use of certain substances can lead to long-term neurological impairment.
Drugs have  also emotional effects of depression, anxiety, memory loss and aggression whereas there are also social effects of it. Addiction is hard to hide. It affects almost every aspect of life. Your ability to concentrate may be diminished, your mood may fluctuate and your interests will likely change as drug cravings become compulsive.
I am finishing with the words that drug addiction is a serious evil impacting our society. Currently nail polish, ink remover, shoe polish and dozens of such abnormal things are used as the alternative addiction by the drug addicts especially belonging to young age group.  We are coming to know through various studies that this dangerous phenomenon is showing an abnormal increase. The need of the hour is that law enforcement agencies start to act and bring the drug peddlers to book . Drug Addiction is proving a nuclear catastrophe for our nation. The religious scholars especially the priests of mosques also need to come forward to play a proactive role in curbing this menace.
(The author  is a student of B.Sc Part II in Himalayan Degree College, Rajouri)


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