Policy says health-promoting activities on decline in JK
Amid steep rise in drug addiction cases, the health care institutions in Kashmir are ‘insensitive’ towards substance abuse disorders in terms of identification and treatment which is impeding an early intervention.
The gaps in the prevention of treatment have been noted in the recent Drug De-addiction Policy of the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department.
“The biggest impediment in early identification is denial in families and by the health care professionals about the presence of substance abuse disorders which is a major health problem in youth,” reads the policy based on prevention, integration, committee participation and integral sectoral participation.
The maiden De-addiction policy has admitted that the healthcare institutions in the state are insensitive to substance abuse disorders in terms of identification and treatment.
It says the health-promoting activities that help to decrease drug abuse are on decline in the state particularly the outdoor sports.
“Sports and health-promoting activities create a counter peer group averse to the use of substance hence thus stops the spread of drug addiction,” the policy says.
As per the doctors, there is lack of awareness among youth about the harmful and addictive effects of substances like solvents, cannabis and smoking.
The policy aimed to fight drug abuse mentions that substance disorder creates stigma in affected individuals preventing them from opportunities to re-integrate with the community and take path of recovery.
“None of the social service schemes are linked to the recovery path. No social support groups exist for helping addicts in remission with rehabilitation in the community,” it says.
The first-ever drug de-addiction policy lays focus on awareness of drug abuse, targeting high-risk population, restricting the availability of drugs and increase affordability and accessibility of treatment programs.
“Laws are needed against ‘misuse of prescription medications’ and reckless sale of medication with psychoactive properties at medical shops,” the policy recommends.
The policy also says that there should be special directions to teachers and parents to supervise use of solvent containing products consumed by children and adolescents.
It also lays emphasis that sale and public use of the legal drug, tobacco and alcohol to underage needs to be regulated.
It says the rehabilitation of existing slum establishments and prevention of mushrooming of slums is important as poor condition of living in these areas breeds addiction.
Government in a report earlier said that drug abusers in Valley consume cannabis, due to its easy availability, accessibility and affordability as there is huge local production which has left doctors worrisome.