Online drugs expose youth to new risks

Rutgers to launch a website to educate young people

Sehrish Wasif September 19, 2016
Rutgers to launch a website to educate young people. PHOTO: Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The increased use of non-prescription drugs to prevent pregnancies and boost male potency is putting at risk the physical and mental health of people.

In Pakistan, adolescents make almost one-third of the population, according to a report titled ‘Operational research to assess potential to upgrading the ‘YouASK’ website to better reach youth and hard-to-reach groups with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information. A large proportion of the population, it said, is still deprived of the basic right to learn about “their sexual and reproductive well-being”.

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The study was carried-out by Rutgers World Population Fund (WPF), an international NGO working for young people’s development and health.

Executive Director at Forum for Dignity Initiatives-FDI Pakistan Uzma Yaqoob said, “Nowadays every young girl and boy has a smart phone. The technology is playing a negative role in terms of providing them access to drugs which is affecting their sexual health.”

As per the study, it is perceived that owing to social taboos topics like pregnancy, birth spacing, sexual relationship, sexually transmitted infections and sex before marriage are not discussed among family members.

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Rutgers WPF country representative Qadeer Baig said that at present Pakistan lacks a proper platform where they could learn about their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

A website,, is soon to be launched to address this issue, he said.

The YouASK website will target young people between the ages of 16 and 24 and their parents to provide them with reliable information on SRHR.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2016.


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