70,000 people in J&K are involved in drug abuse: Deputy director health quotes survey at KU

Srinagar, Dec 7: Deputy director health Deeba Khan on Wednesday quoted a survey during a seminar at Kashmir University saying at least 70,000 people in J&K are involved in drug abuse, an official spokesperson of the varsity said.

Khan said that at least 70,000 people in J&K are involved in drug abuse and most of them are aged below 30 years, as per an official survey. She advocated a three-pronged ‘Prevention-Treatment-Rehabilitation’ strategy to effectively deal with the “burning problem”, the spokesperson said.

The programme, organised by Kashmir University’s Department of Social Work, was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Nilofer Khan, the spokesperson said.

During the seminar, a drug addition survivor made a passionate appeal to youth of Jammu and Kashmir to stay away from drug abuse.

The survivor, who had battled chronic involvement in drug addiction previously, spoke at the inaugural session of a two-day training programme for college teachers on ‘Identification and Referral Services for Substance Abuse’.

After narrating what he called his “horrific experience” of the “dark phase of drug abuse”, the survivor, who is undergoing treatment at IMHANS Srinagar, said he had lost both his health and happiness.

“Substance abuse had damaged 55% of my liver, besides impacting my kidneys and lungs.I was shattered emotionally and financially. I appeal to all youth involved in drug abuse to come out of it,” he said in his message to all youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

The survivor was later felicitated by the Vice-Chancellor with a memento for coming out of the dark phase.

Earlier, Prof Nilofer in her presidential address said a collective effort is needed to eliminate the “scourge” of drug abuse from society.

She urged the Department of Social Work to choose trainers from amongst the workshop participants to utilise their services for further training of school teachers in different districts of Kashmir.

This way, the VC said, the workshop will become a continuous outcome-based activity.

“Let the department come up with a proposal in this regard. The University administration will provide all necessary support to this outreach activity,” she said.

Registrar Dr Nisar A Mir highlighted the role of teachers in curbing social evils like drug abuse by leading the related awareness campaigns.

The event concluded Wednesday with experts from diverse fields delivering talks on a range of issues related to the workshop theme.