Drug abuse in educational institutions

February 14, 2018

By Rameez Ali Mahesar

The trend of drug addiction in Pakistan is briskly flourishing among people at alarming rate. The statistics have shown Pakistan on the rise in term of people fallen prey to this heinous fatal act. Massive death toll around the globe has been reported to be caused of drug addiction. As per World Drug Report 2017, 29.5 million people across the globe suffer from drug use disorder.

Last year, Mr. Kamran Niaz – the senior Epidemiologist with the Research Branch, UNODC HQ, Vienna – staged his demonstration in Islamabad in which he illustrated the significant findings of WDR 2017.  He summarized; in 2015, around quarter of billion people – used drug having 29.5 of adult populace globally – was engaged in this heinous disarray.

According to David Browne, Pakistan had aimed at getting rid of drug under 2010-2014 year Drug Abuse Control Master Plan, but the country failed in achieving this goal. In addition to this, as per a report developed by UN, around 6.7 million Pakistani people are fallen victims to drug addiction, of them male proportion is stood at 78 percent and while their counter part is at 22 percent. The annual rate of addicts is nearly 40,000 and this massive rate places Pakistan amongst the top drug abusing countries around the globe.But, this can be smaller than what the UN report has presented as per government numbers.

On the other hand, Dr. Asif Bajwa – a psychiatrist – had told in a seminar titled “war on drugs: awareness session” conducted by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad by 2017, “there were 8 million people addicts of this fatal disarray and the trend as per him was rising”. Now the numbers in both data is different to each mother. That’s not matter, but rather the matter is of people being fallen prey to the vicious mayhem. This disorder is now being exercised widely in the country.

As per UNODC over 800,000 Pakistanis between the age brackets of 15 and 64 are regular heroin user addicts. According to estimations, processed heroin up to 44 tons is consumed every year in Pakistan. Mental health, social excommunication, lack of self-reliance, curiosity, and urge for pleasure are some of the reasons behind youth happen to be drug-addict. The inferiority complex in one’s feelings has also been found to be as a major cause of their being fallen victims to a drug disorder.

This is now entering the educational institutions to a fault. An NGO report around 2016 had revealed that 53 percent of the disciples in leading private schools are fallen addicts to numerous types of drug within Islamabad. On the flip side, another study had concluded that 57 percent of the students informed the use of at least one drug. Now, the question is: what do the factors give them hand to become drug addicts? One factor behind this as per a study was huge sums in terms of fees the private schools fix upon people and the most of wealthy students fall prey to extravagance which easily make them bark on the wrong trees. If a nation fails to bar its children from using drugs, then there remains no option for its progress.

Today’s developed countries were fallen addicts to this heinous act in the distant past but they slowly reached the target to be drug free. Cesar Guedes – the Pakistan representative of United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) – while pointing out Brazil to be transit in past and consuming one in present, had said that Russia has become a net consuming country after many years it was once a drug transport country, around the span of 20-25 years supplanting the United States as the topmost cocaine buyer. But Pakistan is far lagging behind passively.

Less than no time we should launch fruitful drives to restrain this perilous addict being practiced within country and also proffer greater technical resources to combat the drug trade. The strong and long term strategies must be outlined to stop drug trade, control drug demand and prevent supply.

As far as educational institutions are concerned, they must evolve strong checks and balances within and also make frequent strategies to combat drug war in brisk manner. Although, as per a letter appeared in Daily Dawn last year, HEC had warned the vice chancellors of all universities through a notice it had dispatched to them to make sure their campuses are smoke-free domains. But; no action as per letter hitherto has been taken.

*The writer is a Teaching Assistant in the School of Media and Communication Studies, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University – Shaheed Benazir Abad.