Kashmir Indepth

52000 consume heroin in Kashmir, parents worried

Arshid Farooq

Srinagar Oct 25 (KINS): Mohammad Subhan, who resides in South Kashmir, struggles to help his lone son to overcome heroin addiction. His son, who is 27-year-old started taking drugs at the age of 17. He wanted his son to become an advocate. However, all his dreams have almost vanished now.

“He initially started smoking along with his friends when he was in school. When he reached high secondary, he started taking Charas and later on consumed heroin. I came to know that he was introduced to a drug peddler by one of his friends in our village. Firstly, he was given drugs free of cost and then he started selling things at home like TV, bikes for the drugs,” Subhan told news agency KINS.

Like Subhan, there are thousands of parents are concerned whose children are consuming drugs. “Drug addict does not impact himself but destroy his whole family. For the last three years, I have been taking my son to various rehabilitation centres and doctors despite that he is not leaving drugs,” said Mohammad Amin, a parent.

A survey conducted by Government’s Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir, (DHSK) says that 52,000 persons are taking intravenous (IV) heroin while 70,000 are involved in substance use across Kashmir.

“Once one becomes a drug addict, it destroys his entire family. Everyone gets affected. The number of drug addicts is on rise in Kashmir and has become a cause of concern,” a senior police official said.

In 2016, the Oral Substitution Therapy (OST) Centre at the Government Medical College in Srinagar reported only 489 drug addict cases, which went to 3000 in 2017. In 2019, the number jumped to 7,000 and crossed the 10,000 mark in 2021 with an overall 2,000% spike in the last five years.

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