33% Kashmiri Youth Drug Addicts: Experts

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Srinagar – One-third of people between the ages of 15 and 40 years are addicted to drugs in Kashmir, the heartland of a 23-year bloody revolt, doctors and sociologist say.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the violence that broke out in 1989 and has left nothing untouched across the tense region.

“Kashmir which has lost one generation to violence is fast losing another generation to drugs,” said Alcohol & Drug De-Addiction Specialist after his visit to Kashmir.

Alcohol & Drug De-Addiction Specialist did not identify himself as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Some sociologists and psychiatrists, however, say that mental health problems are contributing to rise in number of drug addicts in Kashmir.

Among other contributing factors are a break-up of the family system, urbanisation and “secularisation” or weakening of religious faith.

“Resigning to God’s will acted as a shield for many people against mental health problems during the two decades of the conflict,” psychiatrists say.

“The decline in faith in the Valley is adding fuel to the fire. That is why drug addition …”

Experts say although militancy is on the wane, the region still lacks stability.

The police in Jammu and Kashmir, mostly in the news for all the wrong reasons, have set up a drug de-addiction centre across the valley to help the youth.

“We have treated around 500 boys so far and more are joining our de-addiction centers,” a police spokesman.

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