‘Heroin commonly used among addicts across Kashmir; Each addict spends Rs 90,000 a month on Heroin procurement, Young deaths caused due to drug overdose’: Study.
By Abid Bashir
Srinagar, Dec 09: In a shocking revelation, Kashmir has left behind Punjab in drug abuse and is in the second slot after North East as the overall prevalence of substance abuse has reached 2.87, with Heroin becoming the most commonly used drug by the addicts, a study conducted by the Government Medical College’s Psychiatry department, revealed Friday.
The study reveals that Kashmir was at the number two slot as far as drug abuse was concerned, as the region has left behind Punjab, which was considered the drug hub till recently. “Kashmir is just behind North East as of now,” the study states.
It states that substance use is predominant in young males, with a mean age of 28.15 years. “Substance use was seen largely in the unemployed population at 25.2 percent,” 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 patterns on psychoactive substances, and among them, 5204 individuals were opioid dependent, and Heroin was a predominant illicit drug that was used among the Opioid users.”
The study states that the overall prevalence of substance use was 2.87, while for any opioid was 2.23 percent. “The age of initiation of heroin was 22.88 years,” the study states. It reads that the average monthly expense of 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 an economic burden given the amount spent by addicts every month,” he said, wishing not to be quoted by name. He said that study was conducted in collaboration with the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir and the Social Welfare Department.
He said that the Intravenous method of substance use was common among the addicts. “Young deaths are caused due to the overdose. We observed that 30 to 40 percent of addicts suffered from overdose symptoms. Timely intervention saved many,” the doctor said, adding that the majority of overdose patients were suffering from Hepatitis-C disease, where the 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,” the doctor said—(KNO)