Use of drugs in Pakistan growing at alarming level-Report

LAHORE - Adolescent substance use takes its toll on the nation in direct and indirect ways. Drug use can lead to diminished economic opportunity, incarceration, addiction, and death.

Use of drugs in Pakistan growing at alarming level-Report
Use of drugs in Pakistan growing at alarming level-Report

Time Square News (Lahore): Adolescent substance use takes its toll on the nation in direct and indirect ways. Drug use can lead to diminished economic opportunity, incarceration, addiction, and death. The full societal cost of these outcomes is staggering. Younger children now have access to drugs more easily than before, and in more digitized and innovative ways than before.

A press release issued by Punjab Social Welfare Department said the use of drugs in Pakistan is growing at an alarming level. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Pakistan has 6.7 million drug users. More than 4 million of these are addicts, amongst the highest number for any country in the world. More than 800,000 Pakistanis aged between 15 and 64 use heroin regularly. It is also estimated that up to 44 tons of processed heroin is consumed annually in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, a large number of students from different colleges and universities are using hard drugs inside and outside the institutions, thus creating a huge challenge for the authorities and the communities at large.

Punjab Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal Department have taken the initiative to start an anti-drug use campaign to lower demand for drugs through awareness, counseling, and reporting the use of drugs while maintaining complete confidentiality of the person who reports the use of drugs at a specific institution. The confidentiality of the user will also be strictly maintained but forums for counseling and rehabilitation will be informed about it.

The department will collaborate with various government and non-government organizations to work against drug abuse. The prime objective of the campaign is to aim at a range of targets that include demand reduction, reduction of drug-related crime and violence, and reduction of drug-related health and social cost with the ultimate goal to save the youth from the use of drugs.

In collaboration with civil society organizations, an event was held at the Lahore Fort, to unveil the logo of the whistleblower campaign and to formally initiate the campaign in the presence of academia, students, and other relevant stakeholders.

Minister for Social Welfare, Syed Yawer Abbas Bukhari and Director General Social Welfare & Bait-ul-Maal Department, Muddassir Riaz Malik, unveiled the logo and conveyed their strong resolve to curb the menace of drug use in the young generation. Sumaira Samad, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare & Bait-ul-Maal, fully supported the initiative and appreciated the efforts being done to report drug use and to save lives.