The Jammu and Kashmir state police recently opened a drug de-addiction center in Baramulla, to educate the youth about its ill- effects and to discourage them from consuming drugs.
An interactive session with the doctors to create awareness about the hazards posed by tobacco and other drugs was also organized.
The in-charge of the center, Inayat Ahmed said they are urging people to quit smoking and spreading awareness about the ill effects of harmful drugs.
"According to the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDC) report of 2008, about 60,000 youth are involved in consuming drugs in the Valley and unofficially it may be around two lakhs. In Baramulla and Anantnag, youth between the age of 17-35 are involved in drug use, and 80 percent of the abusers use opioids," Ahmed said.
The facility has two wards with four beds for indoor patients, regular facilities of indoor and outdoor counseling, medication, and other recreational facilities. Counselors, doctors and psychiatrists have also been made available.
Locals appreciated the initiative and said it would result in reduction of drug addicts.
"A team of doctors visits the center for consultation. There are various kinds of drugs like shoe police, whitener and cigarette. So, those people are provided information and the doctors explain the ill- effects of the drugs," Abid, a local, informed.
With drug addiction becoming a serious problem, the government is working to establish district level de-addiction- cum counseling centers to provide clinical support and treatment to the addicts.
Large-scale cultivation of cannabis and poppy in southern Kashmir and seizures of large quantities of opiates, mostly heroin, in different areas is increasing at an alarming rate.