Kashmir Indepth
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Drub abuse on rise in Kashmir Both men, women consume substances

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar Mar 16 (KINS): Saima Bano, (name changed), a resident of Srinagar was married in 2018. But things started getting uneasy for her as she had to face mental and physical torture from her husband asking her to get money from her parents. She landed at her parents’ home several times with bruises on her body. “He would beat me up and easily lose his cool. Then in 2021, things became unbearable for me and I returned to my parents and then got divorce,” she narrated in a broken voice.

She would remain mentally disturbed and tried to end her life several times but luckily survived. After which one of her friends advised her to take some drugs which would ease her stress and anxiety. “I first snorted a small amount of drugs. Then snorting changed into injections of heroin. For over a year, I put my parents into deep trouble. They stood by my side and did not lose their hope. By God’s grace and with parents’ efforts, I managed to leave drugs. I am now taking counseling sessions for last several months,” she told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

Like her there are thousands of people in Kashmir who have got involved in drugs and devastated their families.

Experts attribute rampant increase in drug addict cases in the valley to easy availability of drugs, parental pressure, and rise in mental health problems.

According to the J & K government’s recent survey, around 70,000 people are drug addicts in Kashmir, among them 52,000 are taking intravenous (IV) heroin. The common substances used by drug addicts in Kashmir are cannabis, heroine, and brown sugar.

A study of IMHANS-K says that among the drug addicts in Kashmir, 61.70 percent are married people while 33.50 percent are unmarried indicating that not only young people but elders are also falling prey to drug abuse.

Mohammad Lateef (name changed), a 45-year-old resident of Srinagar’s Dalgate area. His tryst with drugs began 10-years-ago when he went to Goa in the pursuit of a job. In 2012, Lateef, father of two children, got involved when some foreign customers provided him drugs free of cost.

“These foreign customers first lured me towards wine then cannabis after which I started taking heroin in lieu of some money from customers as I would give them a company in this harmful thing,” he narrated.

He lost everything from health to his hard earned money due to drugs for four-years. However, in 2016, he returned to senses with an appeal ‘Drugs ruin one’s life’.

“It took a mental toll on my family members but they still stood by me. Initially, medicines did not help me much. I had almost lost hope but luckily, I came across a few people who helped me get rehabilitated,” he said, who now runs a shop in Srinagar and lives a normal life.

“I have seen people from all professions getting involved in drugs and ruining their lives,” he added. (KINS)

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