DESPITE the fact there is a ban on use and trade of drugs, everyone knows that the stuff is available freely. Heroin, gutka, mainpuri, opium, hashish, crystal meth, cocaine, cannabis, drug-laced candy and anything else one can imagine is available; so freely available that even children can buy it. And they do.
In the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero, “The safety of the people shall be the highest law.” Sadly, that is not the case in Pakistan. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), approximately 8.9 million people are addicted to drugs in Pakistan; most of them aged 25-39 years. Local estimates suggest more people die every day due to drug-related complications than with Covid complications in the country.
The World Drug Report 2000 cited Pakistan as “one of the countries which is highly affected by narcotics abuse in the world”.
From dark corners and underpasses, the menace of drugs has now spread to educational institutions where students go ‘high’ away from the supervision of the teachers. This needs to be stopped immediately or else we may lose our young in the time to come.
The government should take stern measures to limit and control all forms of drug trade and trafficking, and should punish those involved in cultivation and production of drugs. Awareness campaigns should not just highlight the health issues, but should also talk about prevention techniques, treatment methods and rehabilitation possibilities.
On their part, the parents should focus on keeping their bond with their children alive so that they may talk about everything with them while keeping an eye on them lest they fall.