Srinagar, Mar 16: Funded by Social Welfare Department, Kashmir, the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) today started a project under which a survey about the prevalence of drug addiction will be carried out throughout Kashmir.
The survey aims to gauge the burden of the menace of drug addiction across Kashmir so that calculated, precise steps for the management of the same are taken well in time.
The project was e-inaugurated by Advisor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, who termed drug addiction as a grave issue.
“Drug addiction is a grave issue in our society and this survey will help us in knowing the exact burden of the problem and help us in management of this grave issue,” he said on the occasion.
While complimenting the department for taking up the initiative, the Advisor said UT administration led by Manoj Sinha want to see drug-free Kashmir. “We have to see that the supply chain mechanism is broken and those affected are brought back to the social fabric as healthy and productive individuals,” he said.
He said that drug addiction is a big criminal industry “which is destroying our society in terms of social values and draining the economy as well,” he said, adding that the UT Government will always help the concerned departments in the mitigation of the drug addiction .
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad rather on the occasion, gave details of the project and explained the methods of this survey.
“The DHSK will conduct the survey in collaboration with GMC Srinagar, GMC Anantnag and GMC Baramulla,” he said, adding that the project is being funded by the Social Welfare Department of Kashmir.
He said that as the Director of Health Services he has envisioned the scenario where there should be no treatment gap in the mental health and addiction treatment delivery.
“In this direction, we have established 5 ATF’s in record time. Till now, around 1,000 youth suffering from substance use problems were treated at these centres,” he said.
Dr Mushtaq said that the health department is working in collaboration with IMHANS Srinagar to make patient registers for people suffering from substance use problems.
He said patients from Bandipora, Budgam, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian need not visit capital Srinagar hospitals anymore for their treatment. “DHSK in collaboration with IMHNAS is this survey to estimate the prevalence of substance use in all 10 districts of Kashmir to assess the problem,” he said.
He said figures from the survey will help in developing future course strategies to be adopted to manage this growing epidemic in the region.
“By identifying the maximum number of cases we will be in a position for effective treatment through our ATF’s and help in further reducing treatment gap. This way it will not only be just a survey but a service to the nation,” he said.
The HoD Psychia, GMC Srinagar, Dr Maqbool Dar said that the survey is being undertaken and they will provide all support to the health department unique in the survey.