SRINAGAR: In a shocking revelation, Kashmir has left behind Punjab in drug abuse and is at second slot after North East as the overall prevalence of substance abuse has reached 2.87 with Heroin becoming most commonly used drug by the addicts, a study conducted by the Government Medial College’s Psychiatry department, revealed Friday.

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The study said that Kashmir was at number two slot as far as drug abuse was concerned as the region has left behind Punjab that was considered as the drug hub till recently. “Kashmir is just behind North East as of now,” the study states.

It states that the substance use is predominant in young males with mean age of 28.15 years. “Substance use was seen largely in unemployed population at 25.2 per cent,” it reads. “The most commonly used psychoactive substance was Opioids in every district of Kashmir.”

It states that in all ten districts, 67, 468 individuals were having dependence pattern on psychoactive substances and among them 5204 individuals were opioids dependent and Heroin was predominant illicit drug that was used among the Opioid users.”

The study states that overall prevalence of substance use was 2.87 while as for any opioid was 2.23 per cent. “The age of initiation of heroin was 22.88 years,” the study states. It reads that average monthly expense on heroin procurement by every person who used it was Rs 90,000.

A doctor privy to the study said that imagine 70,000 youth spending Rs 90,000 each. “The drug abuse in Kashmir has economic burden given the amount spent by addicts on monthly basis,” he said, wishing not to be quoted by name. He said that study was conducted in collaboration with Directorate of Health Services Kashmir and Social Welfare Department.

He said that Intravenous method of substance use was common among the addicts. “Young deaths are caused due to the overdose. We observed that 30 to 40 per cent addicts suffered from overdose symptoms. Timely intervention saved many,” the doctor said, adding that majority of overdose patients were suffering from Hepatitis-C disease where Liver sufferance intense damage. “If timely intervention is not done, the person may die due to liver failure,” he said.

He said it was high time to create mass awareness in every locality about the fallout of drugs and for that Imams have to play a big role. “There is a conception that in Islam, Alcohol is prohibited but drugs like Heroin etc aren’t. This needs to be clarified by the Imams. People especially youth should be made to understand that any drug that changes the mental state is prohibited in Islam,” news agency KNO quoted the doctor as having said.


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