Drug Abuse Among Today's Youthby Mohammad Asif Best Content Writer in India
According to a recent survey, around 8.9 million people in Pakistan are drug addicts while 700 people die on a daily basis in the country due to drug–related complications making the deaths related to drugs greater than those caused by terrorism. More than three million Pakistanis between the ages of 15 and 64 use heroin regularly and there are almost five million cannabis users addicted to smoking high-grade hashish called ‘charas’. These drugs being extremely cheap and easily accessible in the country, the abuse of cannabis and heroin is fairly high.
In October 2016, an NGO reported that about 53% of the students in leading private school chains are addicted to various kinds of drugs in Islamabad. Since these private schools ask for huge sums as fees, most of the students belong to wealthy backgrounds and affordability is not an issue.
Similarly, a recent study which included 10 schools and 2 universities from Lahore revealed that 57 percent of students reported the use of at least one drug. Following the alleged death of a LUMS student due to drug overdose, several more were caught from Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU). It was also found out that the students were using local tablets, liquor, hasish and heroin.
The survey revealed that the majority of drug addicts usually start with soft drugs like chhaliya, gutka and pan, and then move to hard drugs like heroin, opium and cocaine, etc. The purchase of drugs or alcohol by young people is usually through dealers or ‘agents’, who are just a phone call away. Their numbers are easily exchanged from one person to another. The contact numbers are also widely distributed throughout hostels, hotels and other places that are generally hidden from the prying eyes of law enforcement agencies.
The phenomenon of growing drug abuse cannot be viewed in isolation from the prevailing socio-political and economic realities. Young people are increasingly aware of and resent the existing setup where corruption, cronyism and financial power are the order of the day. The youth would prefer not to be a piece of this severe framework, and without a reasonable option they discover escape in drugs or terrorism. According to social scientists, political and social upheavals of the last six decades have played a crucial role in shaping the overall psyche and behaviour of the youth: increasing economic inequality, unemployment, political uncertainty, terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and endless sectarian and ethnic clashes.
The worst thing about being addicted to drugs is that it is affecting the youth in every part of the world in a major way. The trouble starts among the school-going children but the problem is worsen due to those who wish to earn money out of selling drugs. The problem among children and youth arises because they seem to think that they are failing to measure up to the expectations of their elders. Nowadays, it has become fashionable for the actors and singers to include tales of drugs addiction and sexual references in their music. So instead of inculcating good values in the youth, the entertainment industry is responsible for propagating the use of drugs, which is further fuelling the addiction to drugs in the both the developed and developing world.
According to experts, the easiest and most effective solution would be to send addicts to a rehabilitation centre. A humanistic form of treatment has been found to be most effective in dealing with drug addicts. But, first of all, awareness and prevention must start at home, with parents. Parents should be vigilant and keep an eye on the company their children keep and their activities. Experts recommend that the devastating effects of drugs should be discussed even at school level, and awareness raising campaigns should be launched, especially through the electronic media.
Drugs addiction is a very serious problem in Pakistan and even if the addict is using prescribed drugs, the ill effects can be very harmful indeed. It is, therefore, important that the government takes administrative, legal and policy measures that put an end to the menace of drug addiction. The right kind of information can help the addict avoid overdosing and it can also prevent medical-related complications.
Unless serious measures are taken now, a large chunk of today’s youth will be severely compromised. The problem of drug addiction is too serious to be ignored. The governments need to involve communities and media in highlighting the perils associated with the drug addiction. Media has a responsibility to highlight such issues with a view to educating people and building a consensus among them to forge a united stand against such scourges.
Created on Aug 27th 2017 08:05. Viewed 780 times.