Drug Abuse Pakistan's Youth New Enemy

(Bilal Anwar, Karachi)

Drug abuse in Pakistan is said to be taking a heavy toll on youth specially on students in the country, according to the ANF where drugs fuel a life of addiction and crime especially among the youth.

The strange fact is kids of 9-12 years have already started consuming tobaccos whereas Kids as young as 13, even 14, are said to be turning to drugs. It starts off as an experimental thing and in most cases, turns into a dangerous habit. One might does not realize at the early stage that when the usage of drugs might turn into an addiction and the moment it becomes an addiction it is very late.

The drug problem in Pakistan is getting extremely serious, with drug usage reported as being at twice the world norm. According to State Minister for Interior Shahryar Afridi 75% of students in Islamabad’s educational institutions are drug addicts.

Though cannabis has remained very popular among drug users across Karachi making it second largest city for consuming cannabis in the world. The number one illicit drug all over the world, the drug scenes in various part of country is getting complex and fluid. In early 20’s policy makers in Pakistan were concerned about the consumption of mild stimulants by students and out-of-school youth to stay alert and to boost energy, the suspected association between cannabis use and psychosis, and the social and familial consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. By 2010 the situation changed dramatically with the arrival of cocaine and heroin in the region. These drugs were brought into the region from producing countries and primarily meant for export to large consuming nations in Asia.

The situation is grave not only in Islamabad and Karachi but almost every part of Pakistan.

The major factors behind the increasing rate in drug trafficking into Pakistan are refugees from Afghanistan. Since Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer of cannabis and different types of other substances meanwhile there are hundreds of refining labs in Afghanistan, many right along the Pak-Afg border, turning substances into heroin. Cannabis and heroin flow from Afghanistan to KPK and Baluchistan from various illegal channel specially through illegal border crossing. And then from there these drugs are supplied to different areas of Pakistan by rail, air, and truck.

There are very little treatment options for drug abusers within Pakistan. Those that do exist have come under harsh criticism from advocacy groups including, Human Rights Organizations. State ran centers may appear more like a jail, offer very little, and consists of heavy detoxification, medications, and basic therapies. The private centers in Russia are not much better and some have been accused of handcuffing patients a steel bed during their recovery.

Drug addiction is a curse for any person because it not only spoils but destroys a life. Youngsters are innocent and they thoroughly need a right guidance, moral education and a healthy environment at their homes, schools and workplace. Parents, teachers and elders should always be empathetic and communicative with the youngsters so that they can easily talk out their issues and feelings, all they need is a good listener and a guide who can hold their hands and show them the right path. If the youngsters are secured and they know that they have some trustworthy people in their lives with whom they can freely express their feelings and problems, then there is no scope for any wrong way to intervene in their minds and life.

We together can avert this rising drug usage in Pakistan, “Each individual has got to step out and help their fellow individual who has a drug problem. If each individual played a role in changing the life of a drug addict, the numbers would reduce day by day and we would have played a role in shaping the future of those who will come after us”

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About the Author: Bilal Anwar
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