‘NA’ Meetings Offer Glimmer of Hope for Drug-Ravaged Kashmir


The Kashmir Valley is grappling with a severe epidemic of drug abuse, with reports indicating that thousands of young people are addicted to various substances. Among these, heroin, a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, is wreaking havoc on the populace. Unfortunately, it has become the drug of choice for many battling addiction.

According to a survey conducted last year by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, over 52,000 individuals in Kashmir confessed to using heroin. The scourge of drug addiction has led to alarming incidents, such as children resorting to violence against parents due to a lack of funds for drugs, a phenomenon previously unheard of in the region known as the land of saints.

While the administration and civil society are making efforts to combat this menace, former addicts who have found recovery emphasize that more must be done to prevent others from falling into this abyss. One avenue they advocate, which they claim has been effective, is participation in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a global, community-based organization that offers support and recovery to individuals grappling with drug addiction. Former addicts, fortunate enough to have encountered NA, attest to its transformative power. “I was in Delhi when drugs took control of my life. While my journey to recovery included a stint in a rehab center in the Indian capital, discovering NA was a game-changer. It has kept me clean for 8 years now. It’s free and accessible online,” shared one recovering addict who preferred to remain anonymous.

NA operates on the principles similar to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) but focuses specifically on narcotics addiction. It provides a nurturing environment where members share their experiences, offer encouragement, and work through the 12-step program to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Meetings are held regularly and are open to anyone seeking help with their addiction. Emphasizing anonymity, honesty, and a commitment to abstinence from narcotics, NA relies on the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. “I’ve attended countless meetings, and nothing has aided my recovery like NA has. The support from fellow addicts is unparalleled,” shared *Owais, who regularly attends meetings both online and in person in Delhi.

Owais considers NA “the most successful way worldwide for drug de addiction.”

While meetings for addicts are conducted daily, families have separate sessions every weekend. “My family learned about the disease of addiction and how to support me through NA,” said Altaf, another former addict.

Family members of addicts also laud NA and its programs, emphasizing the non-judgmental approach and the understanding that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. “No one passes judgment in those meetings. We learn that addiction is an illness, and the addict needs treatment, not condemnation. This mindset greatly aids in recovery,” shared a parent.

While NA meetings are already available in Jammu, they have yet to establish a presence in Kashmir. However, interested individuals can participate online.

Below is the link to the website, it is completely free, anonymous and secular and also helpline numbers
9818072887, 9990916671



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