The aim of the policy is to put an end to the isolation of patients, which according to experts will help to de-stigmatise the treatment of disease.
To achieve the goal, it has been recommended in the policy that that drug de-addiction centres should be integrated with the main hospitals “to facilitate de-stigmatisation of the treatment process of drug addicts”
The proposal draft indicates that drug de-addiction centres functioning in isolation leads to increased stigmatisation of disease and feelings of shame and exclusion, which makes treatment and eradication of disease difficult.
*“It will focus on the integration of drug de-addiction centres with main hospitals, treatment and rehabilitation”*
~says Atal Dulloo, Commissioner Secretary, HME department
Official data states that the total number of drug addicts in the 1980s was 9,726.
However, the number has increased to nearly 6,000 per year as data of 2017.
Official figures of 2017 reveal that the highest number of patients (185) came from Srinagar followed by Budgam (43), Baramulla (40), and Anantnag (39).
A recent study conducted by Dr Yasir Rather of the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, over two-thirds of 198 patients had started substance abuse in the age group of 11-20 years.
The study identified the most common substances of abuse as nicotine (94.4 per cent), medical opioids (65.7 per cent) and cannabis (63.6 per cent).
The first-ever drug de-addiction policy lays focus on awareness of drug abuse, targeting high-risk population, restrict the availability of drugs and increase affordability and accessibility of treatment programmes. It also lays focus on promoting sports activities that protect against substance abuse.