The sale of cough syrups — meant wholly for the youth who take it as a drug – is going unabated in the Shopian district of South Kashmir. Though this substance has been banned long back but it is being sold clandestinely to the youth.
Shopian has always been in the news for the sale of drugs mostly being cough syrups like Corex which contains Codeine Phosphate – an intoxicant.
In its exercise to curb the menace of growing substance abuse in Kashmir police today conducted raids at many places over here and arrested seven drug peddlers with a huge quantity of syrup bottles.
According to police spokesperson these bottles were meant for the sale among the youth. Police is extracting all the details related to it and they are expecting more arrests in coming days.
“We arrested seven people associated with this trade. They were arrested with more than 155 bottles of the substance. We will be making some more arrests in next some days,” says the spokesperson.
The residents at Shopian say that there is a nexus of drug peddlers who trap the young lads into it and get them addicted. They believe that it all begins in schools and colleges.
“The young who go to the colleges fall into the trap of bad company and get used to drugs,” says Abdul Qayoom, a resident.
Qayoom, says that he sees the college goers lying on roads. “I am an eye witness to the situation here, I live in the vicinity of government higher secondary school and many times I have seen these guys taking drugs.”
Establishing the statement of Abdul Qayoom, a young boy, wishing anonymity, from Shopian – who fell for drugs under peer pressure – blames some friends.
“I took this syrup, we usually take for cough, while I was taking my lectures. I was new to the college and this guy sitting beside me insisted me on taking it,” he says.
Though initially he avoided but began to take it eventually. He says these guys charge less than the market prices initially but as one falls into the habit then the prices go up.
The drug abuse in valley is increasing at a fast pace. As per to the officials at drug de-addiction centre at PCR, Srinagar the cases inflate each year.
“The number of cases today is quite high than what it was last year,” says Dr Muzaffar, a psychiatrist.
The statistics with this centre brings out that during 2012 this centre registered only 633 cases which doubled in next year upto 1441.
Among the wide range of drug used by the young here Codeine Phosphate, sedatives like Alprax tops the list.
As per the studies conducted by different researchers and doctors in valley there are around 24.32 lakh of substance abusers in Kashmir. In addition to it there are lakhs of others who do drugs in different manners.