Showkeen Mir| Agence India Press | November 4, 2009
Srinagar: The drug abuse in the valley have not only affected those who are addicted due to bad friend circle but has also badly affected hundreds others who are been prescribed for a drug which after turns a habit to a patient.
Life ran quite smooth for Aijaz Ahmad, a Kashmiri youth, residing in the downtown of the city. Once used to consider one of the brightest students in his school, besides an outstanding sports man.
Everyone at Aijaz's school believed that he was heading towards a brilliant future because of his performance in the academics and other activities in the school.
Things turned out as expected when Aijaz passed his matriculation exams securing 80% marks. All praises were for Aijaz, as he rounded up his performance in 12th with better progress. He was now preparing for the Common Entrance Test (CET), as it was his father's will to see Aijaz as a Doctor and Aijaz obliged like an obedient son.
But fate had some other plans for Aijaz. His father died in cross firing and with that future of Aijaz turned upside down as he separated himself from studies and turned towards an alternative. An alternative which Aijaz would have never thought will land him in a state of psychological disorder and the alternative was nothing but Drug abuse-a deadly epidemic.
There are thousands of people like Aijaz which have opted drug abuse as an alternative for relieving depression and decreasing stress levels.
According to doctor’s report in Kashmir valley, people usually between the age group of 16-30 years are more vulnerable to this menace and among this age group around 75 per cent are addicted to various over the counter un-prescribed drugs.
Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Margoob, senior consultant psychiatrist at the city's Psychiatrist Hospital, terms 'Kashmir conflict' as the biggest reason for Kashmiri youth turning towards at an alarming pace towards drug addiction in the valley.
"Turmoil in the valley has increased the stress levels in the people which resulted in many psychiatric diseases like depression and anxiety" he said.
"For a relief of few moments, these patients start using drugs without consulting doctors and with the passage of time these patients land up as addicts of that particular drug," he said.
Dr Margoob alleged that bad company also plays an important role in spreading this menace as suggestions from a friend to have some hazardous drugs are easily accepted by these patients.
"Before the turmoil, Cannabis(Charas) was the only source towards which these patients inclined but after the militancy broke in valley, use of cannabis decreased and there was an abrupt increase in the addiction towards the use of drugs like Corex, Spasmo Proxivon and many other unanimously termed as 'Opiod group' of drugs," he said.
"Cocaine is a new entry in Kashmir, as we came across few cases that were diagnosed as addicts towards Cocaine" he added.
Dr. Mushtaq said that research studies have revealed that a good number of females are also involved in drug abuse but the number is quite low as compared to the opposite gender.
He suggests that besides medication of such patients, the society has to evolve at all levels to eradicate this epidemic.
"People at local level should be educated about use of various drugs, more and more rehabilitation centers should come up in valley and religious scholars have a moral obligation to impart proper guidance to the youth about the hazardous effects of drug abuse, only then some positive results are possible to come up", the doctor proposed.
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