No Accurate Figure About Drug Addicts In Kashmir, Say Doctors

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SRINAGAR- There is no accu­rate figure about drug abusers in Kashmir as doctors say that those visiting drug de addic­tion centres is very less com­pared to the actual addicts.

A recent report by the Na­tional Drug Dependence Treat­ment Centre in AIIMS revealed that over six lakh people in Jammu and Kashmir are ad­dicted to drugs.

But several doctors work­ing in drug de-addiction and Addiction treatment facilities, told a local news agency KNO that though the number of drug abusers visiting for treat­ment has increased but their number is ‘tip of iceberg’.

Dr Adil Farooq, Medical Of­ficer at ATF Shopian said that about 360 drug abusers have visited the facility in the last one year and among them around 200 have been follow­ing their treatment but the rest are visiting occasionally or some have abandoned it.

About 98 percent of them are addicted to heroin with 50 percent detected with Hepati­tis B and C, he said.

Dr Adil said that Shopian is one of the districts where rate of drug addiction and drug peddling is quite high but only 300-400 addicts visited for treatment last year.

According to him, 90 per­cent drug abusers never vis­ited for treatment due to social stigma and lack of family support.

The doctor said that a person addicted to heroin shells out Rs 2500-5000 for buying the drug.

Similarly, an­other doctor from department of Psy­chiatry GMC Anantnag said that many drug addicts never visit drug de addiction facilities.

He said that the majority of people involved in drug addic­tion fall in the 15-30 age group and the main reasons behind it is peer pressure, easy avail­ability of drugs etc.

A doctor from GMC Srinagar said that easy availability of drugs is one of prime rea­sons for the rise in the number of drug ad­dicts.

The doctors said that lack of proper parenting, lack of care is found to be causes for drug ad­diction. They said a drug addict should be treated as a pa­tient and not a criminal and they deserve love and care of their fami­lies and community.

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