Drug de-addiction policy

Length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir is faced with the menace of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances being used by more and more individuals with levels of severity in certain identified areas and pockets of the State which is disturbing the social fabric of the society, besides posing a cumulative health problem. After the proxy war of terrorism unleashed by Pakistan against our country, drug addiction and its trade across the State is second most security problem as the sale proceeds of these drugs are used for funding terror related activities. Do we have a mechanism, well planned and defined, to fight this scourge through a clear cut policy? What about the ways to control drug addiction and establishment of drug- de-addiction and Rehabilitation Centres across the state?
The Government is found wanting in having a proper policy towards this end and Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice D. S. Thakur whacked the State Government on the status report filed recently by the Principal Secretary H&ME Department. It observed that it is a shocking state of affairs that since the year 2005, the authorities have not been able to formulate a policy regarding drug menace in the State. Repeated court orders have been found not having been given a proper heed for due compliance looking to the nature of the problem. Since day by day, the problem in respect of cultivating, manufacturing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transporting, storing and consuming drugs is showing an upward trend, a proper effective policy would have been a tool to fight this menace with.
The Bench, therefore, observed that had concrete efforts been taken in this regard, the menace of drug addiction could have been addressed but in spite of repeated court orders, the matter has not been placed before the Chief Secretary of the State. Does the State Government give preference to more of the paper work than taking concrete action, the Court observed that in spite of huge funds from Central Government kept at the disposal of the State Government, no progress was seen on the ground having taken place so far. The alibi of funds crunch does not hold any water as is wont with the State Government in most of the cases, since adequate amount of funds in the instant case, are given by the Central Government.
The question arises as to whether any interaction of the authorities concerned between Jammu and Kashmir and other few states have ever taken place to get a sense of how and in which form, have they formulated such policies and what were the results obtained on the ground. In this regard, the Court has given a hint too to deliberate on the methods adopted by other states for establishing of De- addiction and Rehabilitation Centres. Seeking merely more funds without claiming to having practically achieved some positive results with the existing funds structure from the Central Government, seems deficient in logic and flawed in perception.
However, administrative exercise in this regard is reported to have started in late last month by constituting of a 19 member committee to draft the Drug de-addiction Policy for the State after 13 years of a PIL filed in 2005 while another committee of 4 members had been formulated in the month of April 2018. It sounds music to our ears to hear that 23 new Drug De- addiction Centres are proposed to be established to fight the menace. Let us watch the developments but in the mean time, a proper effective and result oriented policy of the State should be formulated at an early date towards fighting drugs, their use and trade. It should necessarily have effective provisions in it for de-addiction measures.


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