International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is being observed all over the world, including Pakistan, while the number of drug addicts is increasing with each passing year, which is an alarming situation. Every year, various agencies, including the Anti-Narcotics Force, the police, and the Coast Guard nab smuggled drugs worth millions.
The question is if the crime is being curbed to a significant extent, why is the number of drug addicts increasing every year? Why don’t drug dealers give up the death trade? People do not shy away from selling belongings, their own relatives for drugs because the minds of drug addicts are uncontrollable. When will the world of humanity finally be freed from the abuse of drugs?
Drug use in Pakistan
According to the United Nations, the number of drug users in Pakistan is 6.7 million, of which 4 million are drug addicts, making it the largest number in any country in the world. According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 Pakistanis between the ages of 15 and 64 have become addicted to heroin.
The amount of drugs used in Pakistan is estimated at 44 tons per year, while another 110 tons of heroin and morphine are imported from Afghanistan to Pakistan and sold in international markets. The estimated amount of money laundered from the drug trade in Pakistan each year is estimated at 2.2 billion.
Cannabis is widely used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In 2013, the number of drug addicts in Balochistan was estimated at 280,000. According to the United Nations, 78 percent of the 7.6 million drug users in Pakistan are men, and 22 percent are women.
Every year, the number of drug addicts in Pakistan increases by 40,000, with the result that Pakistan is considered to be the largest drug-using country in the world. With each passing day, the use of drugs has become more common. About 800,000 people are completely addicted to drugs.
Punjab has also seen a sharp rise in drug use in recent years. In 2007, 90,000 people in Pakistan used injectable drugs, and later in 2014, this number reached 500,000.
Drug use, HIV, and other diseases
The number of HIV-positive people is also increasing as a result of missing the injection. According to a 2005 study, 11 percent of drug users in Pakistan were living with HIV, compared to 40 percent in 2011, which can be considered a very dangerous rate.
The fact is that infectious diseases other than HIV, including hepatitis, are spread by misuse of injections, disposable syringes, and unhygienic issues. Diseases spread by dirt include diseases such as typhoid, which are not very painful at first but can be fatal in the long run.
How drug addiction spread
According to an article published in 2020, smoking is used as a tool to promote drug addiction in the public. According to the article, the movies show excessive drug use which is affecting the younger generation and especially the college and university students who can be seen using drugs as a fashion.
Across the country, heroin and other narcotics are considered cheap and easy to use and are readily available in any city. Most of these drugs are illegally imported from Afghanistan to Pakistan, while Afghanistan is the country responsible for 75 percent of the world’s heroin. The fact is that infectious diseases other than HIV, including hepatitis, are spread by misuse of injections, improper syringes, and filth.
Anti-narcotics force efforts
Today, on World Drug Day, the Anti-Narcotics Force released details of its counter-narcotics operations. Last year, more than 2,424kg of drugs were seized and 321 suspects were arrested.
About 13 vehicles used for drug trafficking were seized. The value of the drugs exported was more than Rs 10 billion while the weight was 28,121 metric tonnes. Around 377 cases were also registered.
There is a need to stop the illicit trafficking of drugs. Rehabilitation of drug addicts should be ensured and especially the young generation should be protected from extinction.