WAR AGAINST DRUG ABUSE

Despite making strenuous efforts for eradication of the menace of drug abuse the problem continues to give sleepless nights to the society at large especially in this troubled state of J&K that is just trying to come out of the worst phase of over two and a half decades of militancy during which the youth especially the students’ community was the worst victim. Though a lot of efforts have been made from time to time to increase the educational awareness of the issues associated with drug abuse, yet we have failed to achieve the desired results. The failure of the government on this front can be well gauged from the fact that even the Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission had to take suo-moto cognizance of the failure of the State Government to prevent drug abuse and provide facilities for de-addiction and in this regard it issued notices to the Principal Secretary Home Department and Commissioner Secretary Health Department seeking details of the steps being taken to contain this menace that looms large over the future of youth of this State. It is a fact that Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) provides ample provisions for stern punishment to those indulging in the drug trafficking but despite that the menace of drug abuse continues to multiply manifold with each passing day in the state. This clearly indicates that sufficient steps have not been taken by the State functionaries to deal effectively with this menace that has wrecked the youth component of the society. It can be easily concluded that the problem continues to be far from being solved as is evident from the existing scenario whereby deaths due to drug overdose by some youth including females were witnessed in the recent past especially in the Jammu region. As such it becomes imperative for the responsible citizens of the state to join hands in fight against this most destructive evil that risks the future of youth who form the substantial proportion of the society besides this menace having serious impact on the quality of future citizenry of the state as well as the nation at large. The menace of drug abuse has assumed such huge dimensions that it is not possible for any single agency or individual to eradicate it. Every year, new synthetic substances are identified and rates of overdose and death caused by different drugs continue to maintain an upward graph which prima facie indicates the utter failure of the law enforcement agencies. Undoubtedly most of the laws in our state fail due to laxity in implementation as a result of which drugs are easily available even to the school going children and females also affected by drug abuse thereby establishing the failure of the Government to contain the menace. Not only this, the Government’s utter failure on de-addiction front is an open secret as no substantial measures have been taken by the government as mandated by Section 71 of the NDPS Act which deals with the powers of the Government to establish centres for identification, treatment and other measures for drug addicts. Though it is an acknowledged fact that prevention is better than cure but in the prevailing situation there is a dire need to accelerate our efforts on the prevention as well as treatment or cure front. It is the duty of every individual of the society to participate in this significant endeavour and in this regard the parents and teachers besides the policy makers have a vital role to play. Now that the Accountability Commission has issued notices to the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department and Commissioner Secretary to Government, Health Department seeking information on various vital aspects by or before November 27, 2017, it is hoped the proceedings of the Commission shall undoubtedly bring the government and its agencies out of slumber to exercise the powers and functions entrusted to it in true letter and spirit. Today there is a dire need for the enforcement agencies to come out of hibernation realizing their utmost role in fighting this menace that has the potential of shattering any family pertaining to any section of the society including the drug mafia as well as the enforcement agencies. With the State Accountability Commission’s suo-moto initiative being quite appreciative, it is hoped that the concerned quarters in the governance as well as the society come on a common platform to eradicate this menace from the state once for all!