Drug abuse in Pakistan reaches alarming level


A drug is something that influences your body. A drug goes through the body and meddles with brain’s neurotransmitters. Drug abuse is the non lenient consumption of certain substance that may prompt physical and mental reliance. Illegal drugs are consumed by an estimated 208 million people around the world. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug. It is consumed by 3.9 percent of the world’s total population; the age of these addicts is between 15 and 64 years. This figure was presented by a report in 2008 by United Nations. 230 million Individuals have used an illegal drug throughout the world. Cocaine-dependent individuals number around 27 million, 0.6% of the world adult population. Worldwide illegal drug use is expected to ascend by 25% throughout the following couple of decades.

Youngsters are the most affected by drugs and alcohol. Every individual whether in a town, city, community, family, school or college is affected by drugs and alcohol, directly or indirectly. Twenty three million people, mostly above 12 years, are drug addicts who are are affecting more people around them; for example, their parents, neighbors, siblings and friends etc.

In Pakistan more than 800,000 people between the age of 15 and 64 are addicted to use heroin on a regular basis, as indicated by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  America is considered as a country where maximum volume of heroin is consumed but estimates show that around 44 tons of heroin is consumed every year in Pakistan. This ratio is two to three times higher than US. 

Other countries like India, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal all have drug dependence issues but the higher rate in Pakistan makes it the most exceedingly awful influenced all through South Asia. This is the reason why Pakistan is considered as a home for the use of heroin and is known as one of the biggest market for heroin smugglers and dealers. 

In Pakistan, the total number of drug addicts as per a UN report is 7.6 million, where 78% are male while the rest 22% are female. The number of these addicts is increasing at the rate of 40,000 per year making Pakistan one of the most drug affected countries in the world. What is most disturbing is the fact that most of these heroin addicts are under the age of 24. The reports and figures presented by the UN about the drug abusers to government entities are in fact 1/3 of the actual number of addicted people.

In 2012, an extensive national investigation of drug use was conducted in Pakistan. According to this study people between the age of 15 to 64 are the most affected by the drug abuse and its terrible consequences. It also reveals that in the past few years about 6.7 million youngsters have used drugs in Pakistan. The age of most of these drug users according to this report is between 25 and 39 years.

Around 4.25 million people are drug addicts but still treatment and expert interventions is very hard to find. Every year less than 30,000 drug addicts get access to treatment. As compared to men, women are more averse to have gotten drug treatment. They make 20% of the total drug addicts while the rest 80% were men. It is hard to access the proper treatment in a country where per day earning of a common person is less than 1.25 US dollar. In Pakistan 3.6% of the youngsters or 4 million people use Cannabis which is listed as the most commonly used drug in the country, while 1% of the drug users are addicted to opiates, namely opium and heroin.

Most youngsters of our country start using drugs because they idealize the west and try to follow their culture of drugs and enjoyment of life, while some of them start using it out of curiosity and for the pleasure they get through use.

The depression and disappointment sometimes becomes the reason for drug addiction among the youth. . Clearly, the primary cause of drug abuse is use of drugs, yet the indicators that appear to make certain individuals more susceptible to drug addiction are its use by the parents, mental issues, feeling of depression, absence of parental association, work stress, marital problems, monetary challenges, low cost and simple access to drug, anxiety etc.

However, the hazard of drugs can be battled. Education is the primary fight. Everyone should be educated about the harm and effects of drugs so that they may know the consequences of its use and can avoid it. Government should take strict steps against the drug dealers and should authorize the law by increasing the police labor.

The writer is student of Economics at University of Peshawar

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