Advisor Bhatnagar e-inaugurates survey for drug addiction in Kashmir


Srinagar, March 15 (KNS): Advisor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar on Tuesday e-inaugurated an important project of Directorate of Health Services Kashmir under which a survey about the prevalence of drug addiction will be undertaken throughout Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhatnagar, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said 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.

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.

Bhatnagar said that we should not discriminate with people who are drug addicts however, we should deal with them love and care to get them back.

“Drug addiction is a big criminal industry which is destroying our society in trems of social values and draining the economy as well,” he said.

The Advisor said that the department should come with any kind of difficulty they are facing and the UT government will be pleased to help them in mitigation of the drug addiction.

Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather gave details of the project and explained the methods of this survey. The will be held under Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.

The DHSK will conduct the survey in collaboration with GMC Srinagar, GMC Anantnag and GMC Baramulla. The project is being funded by the Social Welfare Department of Kashmir.

The director said as 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 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 they are working in collaboration with IMHANS Srinagar to make patient registers for people suffering from substance use problem.

He said patients from Bandipora, Budgam, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian need not to visit capital Srinagar hospitals anymore for their treatment.

“DHSK in collaboration with IMHNAS is conducting 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 this survey will help us in developing future course strategy to be adopted to manage this growing epidemic in the region.

“By identifying maximum number of cases we will be in position to of effective treatment through our ATF's and help in further reducing treatment gap. This way it will be not only be just a survey but a service to the nation,” he said.

The director expressed gratitude to the UT Government led by Shri Manoj Sinha and thanked Additional chief Secretary H&ME, Shri Vivek Bharadwaj for his support and guidance.

The director said it is a collective effort of all of us like the general public, police, NGOs, other concerned agencies to come together and join hands to fight this grave issues in society.

In the end, the head department of psychiatry, GMC Srinagar, Dr Maqbool Dar presented the vote of thanks and thanked the government, DHSK and all the participants for making the program successful.

Dr Maqbool said it is a unique initiative that is being undertaken and they will provide all support to the health department in conducting the survey.(KNS) 

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