The issue of drug abuse is turning monstrous with every passing day. Everyday police reports arrest of drug peddlers and recoveries of drugs and alcohol. Not a day passes when newspaper columns do not figure drug peddlers being caught and the issue goes on without making us realize where to are we headed as a society.
Kashmir is predominantly a Muslim dominated region where the use of alcohol, drugs and other substances should have been minimal. But what is being observed is a total reversal.
Ironically, the daily arrest and recovery of drugs from the peddlers indicates that youth in Jammu and Kashmir are falling to the menace of drug abuse. The menace of drug abuse is assuming massive proportions and the authorities and people as a society have failed to come out with a solution.
The drug peddlers who are selling various substances besides, narcotics and pharmaceutical intoxicants have unleashed drug peddling on a large scale across the length and breadth of the region, ruining and shattering families besides the health of the youngsters.
A comparison of the past few years shows that drug peddling is on increase in Jammu and Kashmir. The situation is more alarming as besides these narcotic substances a huge quantity of psychotropic drugs and other sedatives, otherwise used as medication are also seized during the action taken against the peddlers.
Moreover, poppy cultivation and distribution of narcotics and psychotropic drugs has become widespread in many districts of the state with many areas in south Kashmir resorting to various kinds of violations.
Notably, the police have deployed its men to keep a vigil on trafficking of narcotics and pharmaceutical drugs. But still south Kashmir district of Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam are emerging the leading districts where use of drugs is quite high.
These areas are facing another issue and that is the cultivation of poppy. Many a time Revenue and Police authorities have destroyed the standing poppy crops to prevent popularizing of drugs. Still drug trafficking in the region has increased during the year 2016, 17, 18 and 19.
The trend seems highly disturbing as those involved escape the clutches of law owing to various loopholes. Otherwise it would have been highly unlikely that the peddlers who face arrest would again resort to trafficking of drugs.
What is needed is that the law enforcing agencies should shun the soft paddling with the culprits. The police and other law enforcing agencies need to get their heads together and frame a policy so that the routes of smuggling drugs and pharmaceutical intoxicants are plugged.
Besides, a collective effort should be resorted to where civil society members, religious heads and youth leaders need to come out a devise a strategy to help youth avoid falling into the net.