Fight against drug addiction

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Jammu and Kashmir, due to its precarious situation for three decades, has suffered greatly in the human development index, with its youth being the most affected during this period. Young people resorted to various means and methods and found themselves trapped in a vicious circle of drug addiction. During the period, successive governments failed to adopt a uniform policy to curb the threat with the result that user numbers piled up to an unmanageable situation. It is under the tutelage of the current administration that Jammu and Kashmir becomes the first union territory in the country, after the state of Punjab, to have a comprehensive detoxification policy envisaged to eradicate this atrocious threat of the society. The urgency of formulating a drug detox policy by the government of Jammu and Kashmir is due to UT’s location close to the “Golden Crescent”, a name given to opium producing countries of South Asia like Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. which produces 80 percent of the world’s opium and is considered the main source of the illicit drug trade. The administration has intensified its efforts to combat narco-terrorism unleashed by unscrupulous elements from all neighboring countries. It has developed a detailed mechanism to oversee and review the implementation of drug treatment policy and has even engaged members of civil society in its efforts to effectively combat the threat of drugs. Policy Implementation Oversight Committee at UT level and Detoxification Center Oversight Committees at Jammu and Kashmir Division level were constituted and tasked with suggesting changes in drug addiction policy from time to time seeking financial support for various of -addiction activities in Jammu and Kashmir. These committees were tasked with inspecting existing drug treatment centers in Jammu and Kashmir and granting or canceling licenses after thorough inspection of infrastructure, manpower and standards of care. The committees were also responsible for advising various stakeholders on an ad hoc basis in the implementation of the detox policy in the field and for reviewing the monitoring of prescription drug abuse and suggesting corrective measures to the drug controller. The policy also focuses on various key aspects including prevention, rehabilitation and integration, training and sensitization, community involvement, sensitization and the upgrading/creation of drug treatment centres. It presents a comprehensive action plan to address the problem of substance abuse in its entirety.

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