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3 in 4 drug users in Kashmir consume heroin: WADA

Last Updated on October 25, 2023 at 4:16 pm

Three in 4 drug users in Kashmir consume heroin, says the J&K National Conference’s War Against Drug Addiction (WADA) committee’s report titled “The Silent Epidemic”.

The report carries alarming figures of drug consumption in Kashmir. Drugs in demand, 52.3% Heroin, 11.6% cannabis, 2.1% Alcohol, 0.7% others & 0.2% sedatives. Police record shows seizure of heroin has more than doubled to 240 Kg in 2022 compared with 103 Kg in 2019, the report says.

Quoting a news report of a joint parliamentary committee, WADA says; “More disturbing information is the latest statistics provided by Joint Parliamentary Panel about substance abuse & addiction in J&K, which reads as, “Nearly 13.50 lakh drug users in J&K: Parliament Panel. Joint Parliamentary standing committee of 27 members on Social Justice & Empowerment has informed both the Houses that there are 13.50 lakh drug users in J&K in the age group of 18 to 75 years on the projected population of 2018. Estimated number of current drug use among children aged 10 to 17 is 1,68,700 & they are consuming cannabis, opioids, sedatives, cocaine, Amphetamine type stimulants, inhalants and Hallucinogens, as per the report”.

According to alarming reports, “numerous areas in Anantnag, namely Bijbehara to Letpora and Harnag to Qazigund, KP Road onwards especially Mattan area are infested with rampant drug peddling. Shockingly, certain locations have transformed into open markets for drug transactions, with no visible government intervention in sight. However, there are instances where Govt agencies caught hold of huge consignments of contraband substances worth crores of rupees which serve as a tip of iceberg”.

It is worth noting that J&K is located in close proximity to the golden crescent, an area responsible for producing 80% of the world’s opium. This geographical factor contributes to the availability and accessibility of drugs in the region, the WADA report says.

A survey conducted by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS (NDDTC) in 2018-2019 on the magnitude of substance use in India ranked J&K at the fifth position, estimating that over 600,000 people in the region were affected by drug abuse.

The state of Punjab, notorious for narcotics addiction, has even blamed Kashmir for being a source of drug supply, the report added.