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Governor led state administration does which successive state governments failed to do
Puts drug policy in public domain, invites feedback from people
12/4/2018 11:18:36 PM
Jehangir Rashid
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Dec 4: It has taken many decades for the people at helm in Jammu & Kashmir to awake from the slumber and suggest measures so that the menace of drug addiction is put to rest across the length and breadth of the Himalayan state.
Failure of the successive state governments to check the menace of drug addiction gave an open field to the anti-social elements to lure more and more youth towards the drug addiction. This also meant that the formulation of a drug policy gets delayed in the state with the violators of law continuing to make merry.
However, of late the governor led state administration has realized the importance of a drug policy and it is due to this fact that the proposed drug policy has been put in public domain. It is expected that people would read the draft and provide suggestions so that it is implemented at the earliest.
The drug policy also known as Draft Policy Document for Drug De-Addiction has been drafted by Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (IMHANS) Government Medical College, Srinagar in collaboration with Department of Psychiatry, SKIMS Medical College, Srinagar, J&K State AIDS Control Society with inputs from Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Jammu and Psychiatrists from Directorates of Health Services Kashmir and Jammu respectively.
The drug policy as envisaged by the drafters will be based on preventive model of disease which involves prevention at primordial, primary, secondary and tertiary level. The focus of the policy will be on reducing behaviours in individuals that leads to substance abuse, making early intervention and preventing complications in cases where substance use does occur and preventing relapse of successfully treated cases and their rehabilitation into the community.
Renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Arshad Hussain, while spelling out the salient features of the proposed drug policy said that it does not favour opening of drug de-addiction centres in a large scale manner in Jammu & Kashmir. He said that they have proposed that such centres should come up at the five medical colleges that are going to come up in the state.
"As on date the drug addiction has come up as a major issue in our state and same needs to be tackled in an appropriate manner. We are not advocating opening of de-addiction centres at a large scale. Two such centres are doing wonderful jobs at the Government Medical Colleges of Srinagar and Jammu. Since five medical colleges are coming up we propose to set up de-addiction centres at these colleges," said Dr. Arshad.
Dr. Arshad who wrote the policy along with some of the doctors at Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (IMHANS) GMC, Srinagar said that drug addiction has come up as a recognized health problem in the state. He said that the drug policy was long overdue and the same is in tune with providing a solution to major health problem like drug addiction.
"The drug policy aims to tackle the problem of drug addiction in integration with the society and not in isolation. We want to involve the different stake holders of the society in this whole exercise so that results are wonderful. It is necessary to tide over this crisis since the Prime Minister of the country also talks about the same," said Dr. Arshad.
Dr. Arshad said that drug policy lays emphasis on three important aspects of prevention, integration and community participation. He adds that these aspects are closely related with one another and can't be treated in isolation while tackling the menace of drug addiction.
The drug policy says that there is a need for introduction of self help communities on the lines of narcotics anonymous and alcoholics anonymous in the state. The controlling agencies need to re-orient their modus operandi to counter balance the availability of substances. Extension of after care in the form of rehabilitative care within the community, ensuring life of dignity and purposefulness by empowering them socially and economically, reads the policy document.
"Through the drug policy we have tried to involve the different sections of the society in tackling over the crisis generated due to the drug addiction. Teachers, religious preachers and community leaders hold key to the success of the programme and the same has been emphasized in the drug policy," said Dr. Arshad.
Dr. Arshad said that Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo are very keen to get the drug policy implemented in the state.
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