Pakistan’s drug problem

Published: June 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD: June 26 is observed as World Drug Day. Sadly, Pakistan is notorious not only for terrorist related incidents but also for illicit drug trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime presented its annual drug report recently, which says that Pakistan’s annual heroin market is worth $1.2 billion. With more than 90 per cent of the world’s opium being produced in neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan becomes the main route for opium to be supplied to the world. According to government sources, 600,000 people enter into drug abuse in Pakistan annually.

Drug addiction is a chronic disease and denial is one of the hallmarks of all such ailments. The government, as well as private addiction treatment facilities, must provide incentives to drug abusers so that they are willing to be treated. Judges should refer drug addicts for treatment rather than sending them to jail where drugs are easily available. Most drug addiction treatment centres are located in big cities. The need of the hour is for treatment facilities to be established in small cities and towns. At the same time, incentives for professionals in this field should be provided. Currently, they lack training facilities.

Dr Tallat H Abid

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Nasir
    Jun 26, 2011 - 10:56AM

    600000? wow……..what a market. treatment centers must be flourishing. ……Kidding…..seriously its a big threat to our society and particularly to our youth. We shouldn’t curse Afghanistan for producing such drugs, we must take care of our stuff. We should pressurize government to take decisive measures for stopping this market. We must stop blaiming others for our problems. However, nice effort doctor sb. Recommend

  • Rashid
    Jun 26, 2011 - 12:12PM

    World Drug Day 2011: Global health starts with drug-free communities

    24 June 2011 – Every year, an estimated 210 million people use illicit drugs; of that number, almost 200,000 die as a consequence. Yet, despite the challenges posed by drugs, the impact can be mitigated. This year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June) highlights the role that communities can play in addressing the drug challenge. “Prevention starts with a community that cares about the vulnerable and it involves families, teachers, youth leaders and mentors, among others. We must start to think globally and act locally to curb drug abuse and drug trafficking”, said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
    In addressing drug abuse prevention, treatment and care, UNODC, together with leading civil society organizations, promotes approaches that empower and support community-based strategies and by doing so put people at the centre of the response.
    There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing the drug challenge. Each community has a unique set of problems and circumstances. That is why tailored actions developed with the participation of all sectors of society concerned – from families and schools to local health service providers and law enforcement professionals – are the best options in addressing drug-related problems.
    Community-based interventions also make sense financially; by working together, communities can create synergies, build upon existing infrastructures and leverage resources.
    “Governments have a responsibility to counteract both drug trafficking and drug abuse, but communities can also make a major contribution,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. “Families, schools, civil society and religious organizations can do their part to rid their communities of drugs. Businesses can help provide legitimate livelihoods. The media can raise awareness about the dangers of narcotics.”
    By approaching the drug issue from an inclusive and participatory perspective, moreover, community-based interventions also ensure that every sector of society feels ownership and responsibility to do their part in addressing the challenge. “Only by working together can we create a healthier and safer world that is not plagued by drug-related crime and violence, and where the vulnerable feel they can have hope for the future”, added Mr. Fedotov.
    UNODC leads the World Drug Campaign to raise awareness about the major challenge that illicit drugs pose to society as a whole and especially to young people. Using the slogan “Global Action for Healthy Communities without Drugs”, this year’s campaign aims to mobilize support and inspire people to act against drug abuse.


  • Jun 28, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Thank you very much for your comments. Yes, drug is a problem and we all must contribute to help those suffering from this disease.Recommend

  • Faran Chaudhry
    Jun 28, 2011 - 11:45AM

    The concept given by Dr Tallat is very right that training facilities are in big cities, small cities lack these facilities, that is one of the major reasons that people think drug usage is a habit they don’t treat it as an addiction. Unless masses are are not aware of what the problem is they won’t be able to find a proper solution for it.Recommend

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