Articles by National Media Fellows:
Over the years, our media fellows have published articles in several leading national and regional newspapers and magazines. The following is an article on Drug abuse amongst women in Kashmir by Jehangir Rashid Malik, a media fellow from 2009.
Drug abuse and women in Kashmir
Females are hypersensitive and most harried lot in the Valley.
Drug addiction drives a female to a desperate situation and at times she would not hesitate in beating her husband and at some other times she would brave all odds while trying to fetch an ordinary bottle of cough suppressant. All this has been noticed in female drug addicts who visit drug de-addiction centres in the city, but the problem is that these centres are not many.
Acquiring treatment at one of the city-based de-addiction centres, Bilkis [name changed], a middle-aged woman and mother of three children observes complete silence and straightway declines to answer any query related to addiction, when approached. She is all mum and a person would believe that she has nothing to do with an extraordinary phenomenon like drug addiction.
“I simply want to share that I have come here for treatment and nothing more nothing less. Don’t ask questions to me and just provide me the treatment,” says Bilkis.
A counsellor at the de-addiction centre says that Bilkis often enters into verbal brawl with her husband on one or other pretext ‘and often beat him.’
Bilkis has been consuming substances (drugs) like tranquilizers (sleeping pills) and corex (cough syrup) for last six years. Recently, she has started visiting the de-addiction centre.
“She consumes three bottles of corex every day. She has certain psychological problem and has developed gynaecological infection as well. I have asked her and her husband to go for certain clinical tests, but it is very difficult to handle such patients. Because of the
social stigma attached to drug addiction they don’t come up openly with facts,” says the doctor in-charge at the centre.
The doctor said that when she approached him, she was first hesitant to come out with details. “Later she told me that there are six more ladies in her locality who face the same problem and they too want to consult the doctor,” says the doctor.