Kashmiris becoming drug addicts

SRINAGAR: Minister for Medical Education and Youth Services and Sports Taj Mohuiddin and the leader of opposition Mehbooba Mufti has said a large number of Kashmiri youth were drug addicts.

Replaying to question of MLA Khan Sahab and Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen during the Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly, Taj said large number of youth taking to drugs was a cause of concern for the government.

He said the government had responded by setting up a Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation Center at Government Medical College, Srinagar.

Taj said the State also needs a Counseling Center for Youth so that youngsters were kept away from drugs.

Earlier, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti said boys as well as girls in large numbers were becoming drug addicts.

She urged the government to have a drug de-addiction and rehabilitation problem along with developing sports facilities.

According to experts, among the various reasons of drug addiction the biggest is high levels of stress among the people due to the ongoing conflict.

The biggest toll of the conflict was the psyche of the people and, according to experts most people in the Valley are not addicts for the thrill but to relieve stress. Among the Valleyites, midnight knock syndrome and sleep disturbances are high. Midnight-knock syndrome causes insomnia and instability, which arose out of pre-dawn raids by troops.

The experts say that though the stimulus had decreased now, the problem persists, boosted by the ongoing conditions.

They say many times it is the doctors who prescribe sleeping pills, but mostly people take them by themselves and become addicts.

Similarly, hundreds of young people in the Valley are suffering from other forms of drug addiction and the various NGOs working on drug de-addiction and experts fear that if the government authorities do not address the problem soon, it may assume disastrous proportions. NNI