Jammu and Kashmir is all set to adopt its first drug de-addiction policy to tackle the drug addiction menace in the state, according to a report in The Sunday Express.
Jammu and Kashmir is all set to adopt its first drug de-addiction policy to tackle the drug addiction menace in the state, according to a report in The Sunday Express. The report said that the new policy has been put in the public domain to enable people to submit their valuable suggestions. Once the month-long process is over, the suggestions will be taken into consideration and the required changes will be done accordingly before sending it for final approval.
The policy has been prepared by the Institute Of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Kashmir, J&K State Aids Control Society and the Directorate of Health.
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“This process has been given a month. After the feedback comes in, we will make the changes required and the policy will be sent for approval and become effective,” Principal Secretary, Health, J&K, Atal Dullo told the daily.
Dullo informed that the new draft policy seeks to address the menace through three-pronged approach — prevention, integration and rehabilitation. The official said that several government departments will have to work in coordination in order to check the problem.
“…not just heath, but also education, police, excise and others, will have to work in coordination to contain the problem. We have to prevent people from slipping into drug use, but also, the treatment of addiction cannot be stigmatised. Post treatment, we are looking at livelihood options for patients,” Dullo said.
The report, while citing the draft policy document, said that during studies conducted in last few years it was found that there has been a rise in the number of women users, decreasing age at first-use, increasing use of solvents and injectable opiates. Also, drug-related deaths have increased in the state in recent past.
Quoting a research, it said that legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco contribute significantly to deaths resulting from substance abuse. According to IMHANS survey, it was found that over two-thirds of the patients had started substance abuse in the age group of 11-20 years.
The most commonly used substances were nicotine. Out of those studied, around 94.4% had used nicotine. Around 65.7% used medicinal opioids and 63.6% used cannabis.
Nearly 45% had used benzodiazepines. Around 43.4% had used other prescription medications. Those who used alcohol, inhalants and cocaine were 32.5%, 11.1% and 7.5%, respectively. Multi-substance abuse was found in 91.9% of the patients who were studied.
It said that inhalant use was seen predominantly among adolescents. Nicotine, cannabis, alcohol, opioids and benzodiazepines were more pre-dominant in the age group of 21 to 30 years.
According to IMHANS, Health professionals who were involved in preparing the document said, during the early 90s, 100 to 200 cases of drug abuse were reported annually but over the past three years, this increased to 6,000 per year.