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Draft on ‘Drug De-Addiction policy’ admits lacunae

Draft on ‘Drug De-Addiction policy’ admits lacunae
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Srinagar: The Policy Draft for Drug De-Addiction which is out in the public domain, has admitted the existing gaps in the Drug de-addiction mechanism which is in place and subsequently the prevention of the same.

The Draft Policy has pointed out at multifaceted gaps that have led to the sorry state of affairs when it comes to the prevention of substance abuse and the de-addiction process adopted by the government.

The Draft Policy for the State of J&K has been framed by the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Kashmir (IMHANS), Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry, SKIMS Medical College, Srinagar, J & K State AIDS Control Society, with inputs from, Department of Psychiatry Jammu Medical College and Psychiatrists from Directorate of Health Jammu & Kashmir.

The Draft Policy, under Gaps in Recovery and Support, states that on the part of the Government, there has been a lack of support for those who are affected by the substance abuse, which prevented them from re-integrating with the community.

“Substance abuse disorders have been affecting the lives of the individuals involved and have been preventing them from opportunities to re-integrate with the community and take the path of recovery,” the policy draft adds.

“None of the social service schemes is linked to the recovery pathway, no social support groups exist in the state of J&K for helping substance users in remission, with rehabilitation in the community,” the policy admits.

The Policy Draft has also pointed out at the decline of health-promoting activities throughout the state, which has subsequently led to the substance abuse, with no avenues available for youth to divert their attention.

Further, the policy points that there have been gaps in the early identification and intervention in case of drug de-addiction, with Health institutions being ‘insensitive’ to the substance use disorders, it has been impeding early identification and intervention.

“Health care institutions seem to be very insensitive to substance use disorders in terms of identification and treatment, thus impeding early identification and intervention,” the policy reads.

“The greatest impediment in early identification seems to be denial in families and in healthcare professionals about the presence of substance use disorders as a major health problem among the youth,” it adds.

Under Health Promotion & Prevention, the policy reads: “The health-promoting activities which decrease substance use are on the decline throughout the state of Jammu and Kashmir particularly the outdoor sports which not only help in dissipating the pent-up energy in the young but also promote healthy living and social bonding.

Such activities, the policy states, “creates a counter peer group averse to the use of substance hence stops the spread of substance use disorders.”

The policy reads that there is a “lack of awareness in the adolescents and teens about the harm and addictive potential of various substances like solvent, cannabis and smoking.”

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