Drug abuse in Kashmir: Number of In-door patients swelled alarmingly in past four years, say medicos | KNO

Situation alarming, females found consuming anti-depressants, patients reveal easy access to heroin, other drugs, our focus drug peddlers, not addicts: SSP Sgr
Drug abuse in Kashmir: Number of In-door patients swelled alarmingly in past four years, say medicos | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, July 06 (KNO) : The medicos treating the patients diagnosed with the chronic drug addiction including heroin and brown sugar while terming the situation in Kashmir alarming today stated that the number of not just the Out-Door Patients (OPD) increased manifold but also the Indoor Patients swelled alarmingly, raising serious concern. As part of the series of stories started by the KNO on the drug abuse in Kashmir, figures reveal that in 2016, the number of IPDs were 223 which rose up to 467 in 2017. “In 2018, the number swelled up to 654 and in 2019 (from Jan to June), 223 cases patients were already admitted in the SMHS hospital Srinagar,” figures accessed by the KNO revealed. A doctor, privy to the figures, termed the trend alarming stating that if remedial and timely measures aren’t taken on time, the situation is all set to turn out to be disaster in near future. “Most of the patients were found addicted to opium, cannabis, alcohol and some were also seen seriously addicted to heroin,” the doctor disclosed on the condition of anonymity. He said that 88 per cent males were found addicted to drugs that include anti-depressants, alcohol, cannabis and opium. “Twelve per cent girls were also found addicted but all of them were consuming anti-depressants especially Benzodiazepine,” the doctor said. KNO on Friday had reported that in 2018, 46600 patients were treated at the SMHS hospital for being addicted to various substances and the figure was highest ever since 2014. In 2019, over 12000 patients were already treated at the SMHS hospital from January to June so far and the figure is expected to rise in the coming months. A group of patients being treated at the SMHS hospital disclosed to KNO that since anti-depressants were easily available in the market, it was easy to get drugs like heroin and brown sugar as there are many people who deal with it in Srinagar. Talking to KNO, on the side-lines of a press conference, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar said that the focus of police was not on the drug addicts but the drug peddlers as they are the root cause of drug business in Kashmir, especially Srinagar. “It is the sole duty of parents and the health department to take care of an addict. Our job is to crack the whip on the drug peddlers and the big fish who are involved in the drug trade,” he said. The SSP said that police will book drug peddlers under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and there will be no mercy on them. “We are seeking peoples’ cooperation in this thing and that people should realise that police can’t help them address the issue of drug addicts who at times are found falling flat on road side, or a grave yard. What if police picks him up and he dies in the police station, nobody would believe the police then,” he said.(KNO)