Nearly 10 lakh drug addicts in J&K: Central Ministry

Only one Integrated Rehabilitation Centre in entire UT
*No major progress in destruction of poppy, cannabis
Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Mar 28: There are nearly 10 lakh drug addicts in Jammu and Kashmir as per the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment through National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi.
This has been revealed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Lok Sabha in response to a question of National Conference Member of Parliament Hasnain Masoodi, who had sought details of total number of suspected drug-addicts in Jammu and Kashmir and the total number of Addiction Treatment Facilities, De-addiction Centres and Rehabilitation Centres in the Union Territory.
The Ministry, while pointing towards the survey, informed the Parliament that estimated 108000 males and 36000 females were found using Cannabis in Jammu and Kashmir while as 534000 males and 8000 females were found in the dragnet of Opioids and 160000 males and 8000 females were found using sedatives of different kinds.
Likewise, 127000 males and 7000 females were noticed using inhalants and large number of males and females were addicts of cocaine, Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) and Hallucinogens in Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry further informed the Parliament.
However, the number of drug-addicts might be much more than the figures pointed out by the Ministry as survey was conducted few years back and since then drug menace has tightened its grip in the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Ministry supports setting up of Addiction Treatment Facilities (ATFs) in the Government hospitals across the country, which is being implemented through AIIMS New Delhi and out of 46 ATFs established till date 10 are running in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir”, read the reply furnished to the Member of Parliament, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
Moreover, the Ministry extends support for establishment of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts, which not only provide treatment to the drug victims but also give services of preventive education, awareness generation, motivational counseling, detoxification/de-addiction, after care and re-integration into the social mainstream.
However, out of 340 Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts established in the country only one is running in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Likewise, Community-based Peer led Intervention (CPLI) Centres are supported by the Ministry and these CPLIs focus on vulnerable and at risk children and adolescents. Under this, peer educators engage children for awareness generation and life skill activities. However, out of 40 CPLIs established till date, two are running in the UT of J&K.
There are three Outreach and Drop in Centres (ODICs) in UT of J&K out of total 71 established by the Ministry to provide safe and secure space of treatment and rehabilitation for substance users with provision of screening, assessment and counseling and thereafter provide referral and linkage to treatment and rehabilitation services for substance dependence, the Ministry said.
The Government also supports setting up of District De-addiction Centres (DDACs) in those districts across the country where there is no IRCA, ODIC and CPLI centres. Currently, 15 DDACs are supported by the Ministry out of which there are five in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Home Affairs, in reply to a question regarding menace of narcotics, informed the Lok Sabha that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has destroyed poppy on 288 acres of land in J&K in 2018, 1123 acres in 2019, 893 acres in 2020, 292 acres in 2021 and only 88 acres in 2020.
These figures clearly that no major progress has been made in destruction of poppy, which is grown on major chunk of land particularly in Kashmir valley. Rather, the figure vis-à-vis destruction of poppy has witnessed decline during the past few years.
The figures relating to destruction of cannabis show increase in activities of NCB but keeping in huge chunk of land being used for growing of cannabis in Kashmir valley the performance is not up to the satisfaction. In 2018, cannabis was destroyed on 37 acres of land, 295 acres in 2020, 523 acres in 2021 and 443 acres in 2022.