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1.68 lakh minors among 13.5 drug users in J&K: Parliamentary panel

1.68 lakh minors among 13.5 drug users in J&K: Parliamentary panel


‘Opioid mostly used; govt taking a slew of measures to tackle drug menace’

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Aug 04 (KNO): Around 13.5 lakh people in Jammu & Kashmir consume drugs, with over 5 lakh addicts using opioids, a parliament panel report has revealed.

The Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment report titled ‘Drug abuse among young persons: Problems and solutions’, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), reveals that around 1,68,700 children of 10-17 year age group are drug users in Jammu & Kashmir and among them, around 95,000 are Opioid users.

As per the report, among 1,68700 minor drug abusers, 8,000 are using cannabis, 95,000 opioids, 19,000 sedatives, 100 cocaine, 400 Amphetamine Stimulants, 46,000 inhalants and 200 Hallucinogens.

The report states that 11,80,000 adults of the 18-75 age group are drug abusers and among them, 3,54,000 are using alcohol, 1,36000 cannabis, 4,47,000 Opioids, 1,51,000 sedatives, 89,000 inhalants and 1000 each of Cocaine, stimulant and Hallucinogens.

The parliamentary committee in the report mentioned that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment commissioned a comprehensive survey in 2018 by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) AIIMS, and on the basis of the survey a comprehensive Scheme, National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) was formulated for 2018-25 to tackle the drug menace in the country.

As per the survey, about 16 crore of the Indian population between 10 and 75 years (14.6%) of age uses alcohol. “At the national level, there are as many as 19% of the current users of alcohol who consume alcohol in a dependent pattern. 20 lakhs juveniles below the age of 17 consume cannabis and about 2.26 crore individuals (2.1% of the country’s population) use opioids which include opium (or variants like poppy husk, heroin, smack or brown sugar and various pharmaceutical opioids),” the report mentions.

It further states that NAPDDR merged with it the erstwhile scheme namely Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse, Projects and Components with a view to streamlining the process of implementation in a focused manner.

“The objectives of the scheme are to create awareness and educate people about the ill-effects of drugs abuse on the individual, family, workplace and the society at large and reduce stigmatization of and discrimination against, groups and individuals dependent on drugs in order to integrate them back into society, develop human resources and build capacity for working towards these objectives, facilitate research, training, documentation, innovation and collection of relevant information, provide for a whole range of community based services for the identification, motivation, counselling, de-addiction, after care and rehabilitation for Whole Person Recovery (WPR) of addicts, formulate and implement comprehensive guidelines, schemes, and programmes using a multi-agency approach for drug demand reduction, undertake drug demand reduction efforts to address all forms of drug abuse, alleviate the consequences of drug dependence amongst individuals, family and society at large,” the report says.

It says that under the scheme of NAPDDR, financial assistance is extended inter-alia to various non-governmental organisations, and project implementing agencies for different prescribed components including preventive education and awareness generation, capacity building, treatment and rehabilitation.

The report also mentions setting quality standards; skill development, vocational training and livelihood support of ex-drug addicts, focused intervention in vulnerable areas; surveys, studies, evaluations, research and innovation on the subjects covered under the scheme, programme management, and any other activity or item which will augment or strengthen the implementation of NAPDDR—(KNO)

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