[Answered] Analyze the factors contributing to the growing epidemic of drug addiction in Kashmir. What preventive measures can be taken to address the issue?

Introduction: Describe the context of question.

Body: Highlight the factors contributing to the growing epidemic of drug addiction & measures that can be taken to address the issue.

Conclusion: Way forward.

Various newspaper reports have revealed a devastating epidemic of drug addiction, mostly affecting young men, across Kashmir impacting several families & their children, stretching the state’s public health system and posing a new challenge to the security forces. According to data from India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, approximately 8 percent of the population, roughly 10 lakh residents, are drug addicts. This alarming situation calls for urgent attention and comprehensive solutions to combat the widespread abuse of drugs such as heroin, cannabis, opioids, and sedatives.

What factors have contributed to the growing epidemic of drug addiction in Kashmir?

  • Poverty & Unemployment: Numerous young people are vulnerable and disillusioned as a result of the high unemployment rate and the lack of available economic prospects which lead some individuals to experiment with drugs out of boredom or frustration.
  • Easy accessibility of drugs: Kashmir is geographically located near the Golden Crescent and hence there is easy availability of heroin (Golden Crescent refers to illicit opium production areas in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan).
  • Conflict & Trauma: Numerous people have experienced trauma, stress, and anxiety as a result of the region’s prolonged conflict and political unrest. To cope with these emotional and psychological difficulties, some people turn to drugs.
  • Lack of awareness: People may underestimate the effects of drug usage as a result of inadequate education and awareness initiatives. The lack of recreational facilities in the valley has contributed to the growing menace of drug use.
  • Religious stigma: Due to the religious taboo connected with alcohol consumption in the Valley and the fact that the population is predominately Muslim, adolescents are turning to heroin as a coping and recreational tool.

What preventive measures can be taken to address the issue?

  • Community Engagement: Communities may shift young people’s attention away from drug use by getting involved in programs that provide them with healthy alternatives, such as sports, the arts, and vocational training.
  • Institutional support: The state government in cooperation with civil society has worked to increase the number of DDC (drug de-addiction centres) to reduce the stigma around addiction and seek treatment.
  • Limit supply chain: Law enforcement should strengthen efforts to limit the supply chain of drugs by curbing drug trafficking from neighbouring countries & states like Punjab & Haryana.
  • Rehabilitation and Treatment Centres: Establishing well-equipped rehabilitation centres and treatment facilities, along with trained medical professionals, can provide individuals struggling with addiction the help they need.
  • Skill development: The likelihood of young people turning to drugs can be decreased with the help of programs that emphasize skill development, job training, and entrepreneurship.


The drug crisis poses a governance test for the J&K administration to end the narco-terror network across the state. Political and economic empowerment of people and civil society is necessary for thwarting the designs of the drug cartels.

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