Land of sufi saints—Kashmir is now a ‘drug abusers paradise’

2018 shows registration of 46,000 OPD patients at SMHS, over 12000 treated at ODP in 2019 so far; 88 per cent were male, 12 per cent females, say doctors, cannabis, anti - depressants, Heroine most favourite substances
Land of sufi saints—Kashmir is now a ‘drug abusers paradise’

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, July 05 (KNO) : Kashmir, the land of sufi saints and a place known for its conservativeness is fasting turning into drug abusers paradise given the alarming figures disclosed by team of doctors at the Srinagar Maharaja Hari Singh hospital to Kashmir News Observer (KNO) on Friday. In year 2018, more than 40,000 patients were admitted for consuming various substances that include anti-depressants, cannabis and heroine and shockingly while as 88 per cent of total drug abusers were found males 12 per cent were females. The official figures accessed by the KNO shows the data of people who had fallen prey to the drug abuse since 2014. The figures paint a dismal picture as the numbers of drug abusers have shown a sudden surge in the past eight years with majority youth showing their addiction towards the use of cannabis (charas), alcohol and also some were seen addicted to the use of heroine. “Twelve percent of the females were also found involved in drug addiction. Some of them were also addicted to use of alcohol while majority were seen taking anti-depressants especially Benzodiazepine.”  “Though the use of Heroin was not much among the patients admitted here but majority were consuming anti-depressants and cannabis and some were also seen addicted to alcohol,” a doctor at SMHS hospital told KNO, wishing not to be named. Official figures reveal that in the OPD at SMHS hospital total of 22791 were treated while as the figure rose up to 25823 in 2015. “In year 2016, the figure went up dramatically as 33747 patients were treated at the OPD. In 2017, the figure showed further upward trend as 33747 patients were treated at the OPD,” the figures reveal. In 2018, the data shows 46629 patients were registered at the OPD of the SMHS and in 2019 so far, 12615 patients were registered at the OPD of the hospital. The doctor said that the use cannabis was found at 35 per cent among the patients treated at OPD while as ten per cent was Alcohol usage, and 30 per cent multiple substances. “The figure includes 37 per cent Urban population and 62 per cent Rural Population. Srinagar tops the list of abusers followed by Anantnag, Pulwama, Budgam, Baramulla andBandipora. Kulgam has shown only two per cent population involved in the drug abuse,” another doctor revealed, stating the situation was alarming in Kashmir. A patient, who was addicted to the use of heroine, told KNO that heroine was easily available and he was getting it from his friends in Srinagar. “Whenever I consumed it, I lost my senses and preferred myself to keep locked inside a room in my house. Ever since I was treated here, I have stopped consuming heroine and won’t touch it again. But there is a huge market of drug peddlers in Srinagar and that can be gauged from the fact that heroine is just a phone call away,” he said, wishing anonymity.(KNO)