Drug Abuse in Pakistan

By Muhammad Ali 

Drug addiction has become the serious problem around the world. It has been adopted as a lifestyle in both rich and poor countries. The use of drugs and alcohol not only bring negative impact on moral values but it also damage nation economy as well. Drugs that come up with short periods of feelings of well being and pleasure but after that it always drag to permanent psychological and personal abnormalities.

The use of intoxicating substances was started very long time ago when used various parts of plants in order to cure ailments and then it was founded that using of specific part of specific plant brings tranquility and sense of euphoria. Human being found the recipe of brewing alcohol accidently, after that alcohol and other intoxicating substances became part of social and religious gathering.  With the passage of time, new methodology of extracting and purification brought new, modified, potent and lethal intoxicating substances to societies. People did use it, abuse it, became addicted and enmeshed badly.

According to report of National Agency for Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA), more than 247 million people used drugs in the 2016, more than 29 million people suffering from addiction disorders and 14 % of drugs users are suffering from HIV. Only few percentages of drugs addicts are getting medical treatment.

According to research that was conducted in 2002 by National Survey of Drug Abuse and Health, approximately 20 million American used illegal drugs on that year including hallucinogens, cocaine, marijuana and LSD.

In 2015, World Health Organization, Institute for Health Metrics and United Nations Office on Drugs did survey, according to survey 18.4% of adult population used heavy episodic alcohol in the past month;15.2% for daily smoking; and 3.8, 0.77, 0.37 and 0.35% for past year cannabis, amphetamine, opioid and cocaine use. European countries had the highest prevalence of smokers and heavy episodic alcohol users.

In Pakistan, drug addiction has become worse; the number of drug users has increased exponentially in the last few decades. According to UN report, there are 9 million people are drug users in Pakistan and the most common drug of choice is cannabis. Pakistan has the highest number of 4 million drug addicts (for any other country in the world). There are two types of drugs that are very common and easily accessible; cannabis and heroin.  More than 800,000 Pakistanis use heroin on daily basis and it is estimated figure that approximately 44 tons of refines heroin are used annually. People in Khyber pakhtunkwa have high percentage of using cannabis In 2013, there were about 280,000 drug users in Baluchistan. In Punjab and sindh, situation is extremely worst, they have highest number of heroin and opium users; highest than any other part of nation. Around 11 % of drug users in Pakistan were HIV positive in 2005 and the number has increased to 40 percent in 2011 The question is why people start doing drugs? People start doing drugs because of socio-psychological factors; economical issues, lack of interest in education, high stress and anxiety and due to peer pressure. People starts from smoking tobacco and ruin their life by jumping on hard drugs. Children who grow up in family where smoking is common than there is high chances that children will start smoking tobacco very early, will try hard drugs and will involve in wrong practices. There are also some other factors including; feeling of alienation, life trauma, lacking of family support and relations problems Biologically, drugs effect on neurotransmitter and release some chemicals that give pleasure and sense of well being for short period of time. After repeatedly usage, time period of feeling pleasure become gradually decrease and diminish. The brain and body become dependent on drug. When drug addict use drug, they don’t use it for pleasure, they use it to feel normal. Consequences always been very painful and difficult to get away including withdrawal symptoms, paranoid and psychotic thoughts, stress, anxiety, depression, restlessness, psychological problems and cardiovascular diseases.

This problem can be solved by educating everyone, everyone should know about the consequences of it. Teachers should educate students how to avoid it and how to manage stress. Government should take action against drug dealers and strict punishment should be executed.

The contributor is a student at NUST. 

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