Drug web of Jammu

A fortnight ago, I came across a real life experience which made me understand how much high is drug consumption among the youth of Jammu. It all happened when I came to know that one of my friends was taking drugs. My understanding to this prevailing drug menace in Jammu furthered, when I visited de-addiction clinic at Govt. Psychiatric Hospital near Resham Ghar in Jammu along with the family of my friend. There is an opiod substitution centre where all drug addicts are put on opiod substitution therapy and same now has been done with my friend. On the other hand, my urge to understand this vicious circle of drugs in Jammu increased when I saw dozens of youth of Jammu getting treated at that opiod substitution centre. I continuously visited that centre for 3-4 days with my friend for medicine and for counseling purpose. Since I wanted to understand how deeply is our youth involved into drugs, so I very softly made enquiries from some patients & their family, medical officer, counselor, nurse etc present there during those 3-4 days. And what I gathered from there was really terrifying. The feedback I got gives me a hint that presently more than 50% youth in Jammu are consuming drugs like intoxicating tablets, charas, ganja & heroine.

In this all process, I got to know that there are even cases, where school and college going children of several influential families are consuming drugs. On the other hand, there are many parents of such children who are not aware about such activities of their children. And those parents, who know about their children being into such things don't take them to such government operated centre and are getting them treated privately in & out of Jammu. Mainly, it is because that in this hospital before getting treatment you are required to give your photograph & address proof, after which an identification number is generated on the basis of which one is eligible to get medicine from opiod substitution centre. This kind of approach adopted by some families creates difficulty for ascertaining the actual level of this drug menace. I am sure many among us still believe that Punjab is the state which has high consumption of drug. But let me assure you that Jammu too has an ugly chapter which is written by the drug dealers in Jammu. Moreover, this drug addiction is among all youth, irrespective of religion or community they belong to. This also reveals how one particular stratum of the society in Jammu is targeted by the drug dealers.

What has also struck my mind, ever since I have seen all of this, is that how can this mafia sell drugs without getting support within our social system? Although police machinery of state claim to take a number of steps to tackle the menace of drugs but with such things happening around it appears that some men in uniform have closed their eyes to this problem. It is clearly understood that junior police officers who do not take into account this drug problem do it because of their collusion with some colleagues and seniors. Police alone isn't responsible for this problem. For every politician youth is an asset but when it's about drugs, I haven't seen any politician in Jammu who came out & declared that he/she will fight to abolish this drug menace. All political leaders in Jammu are very well aware of such prevailing things and in such conditions we shouldn't call them innocent. Instead, a social organization based in Jammu is playing a tremendous role to counter this drug mafia. Still, let me remind all those who have narrowed their approach towards this problem that they should not think that they could remain untouched from these spreading tentacles of drug problem in Jammu.

I firmly believe that this drug web of Jammu will persist as long as our approach to handle it remains slow and soft. The situation in Jammu needs close watching. Otherwise, in next 10 years our failure to control this prevailing threat will produce disastrous results. We need to save the youth from these pleasure giving drugs as they are causing cancer, heart and several other serious ailments among the youth. This life threatening trend among youth has already taken many lives in Jammu. I won't appear wrong to you, if you can recall of that death of someone's child which (you have heard or read) happened in suspicious circumstances. Finally and certainly, such things must persuade us to do something, big or very small, against drugs before it knocks our door.

IMAGE: Representational Picture 

Disclaimer: "The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way views of Jammu Links News." 

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Author

Satwant Singh Rissam