Srinagar, October 13 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the psychiatric disorders are increasing in the territory due to the unending conflict. The Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) has treated at least 70,000 people with mental health illnesses this year.

The drug abuse among children under 16 years of age has set alarm bells ringing in the Valley.

Official data reveals that of the 70,000 patients, 2,692 drug addicts were treated till August while 387 drug addicts were admitted to the institute and its centre at the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.

Dr Hena Hajini, Child Psychologist at the psychiatry unit of the SMHS Hospital, said three of every 10 people visiting the centre were below 16. “Children under the age of 16 are seeking help at this centre. I recently checked a 15-year-old boy who had a conduct disorder. I am receiving around 30 mental ailment cases of children in which under the age of 16 children fall into conduct disorder – an early stage of substance abuse,” she said.

According to the hospital authorities, conduct disorder is a serious behavioural and emotional disorder seen in children and teens. An affected child may display a pattern of disruptive and violent behaviour.

According to the doctors in the hospital, they receive 12 drug abuse cases daily.

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