The blog discusses the rise of drug abuse in educational institutions of Pakistan, highlights various efforts and suggests solutions to curb this menace.

There are many reasons for drug addiction but major among them is that it destroys families. When a person starts taking drugs for any reason, he or she doesn’t think about the consequences. The addiction starts with soft drugs like chhaliya, gutka and pan and then moves to hard drugs like opium, etc. There are specific agents or dealers inside and outside institutions, who encourage students to buy this ‘curse.’ Their contact details are easily exchanged from one person to another and one can easily meet them in hostels, hotels and other places which are generally hidden from the eyes of law enforcing agencies.

The youngsters in Pakistan are mostly affected by drugs and alcohol. The number of addicts are on the rise at the rate of 40, 000 per year making Pakistan one of the most affected countries in the world. The most disappointing fact is that many heroin addicts are below the age of 24. The growing use of drugs in educational institution is a serious threat to the lives of the students who are using drugs ‘freely’ and ‘openly.’

According to a survey, one out of every 10 college/university students is a drug addict and almost 50 per cent students of elite schools and colleges based in Islamabad and Lahore are drug addicts. They have free access to drugs and have no issue of affordability. The widespread availability of drugs is making the lives of youngsters lifeless and we need to curb this menace. 

Recently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on hearing a suo motu case related to drug usage in private and government educational institutions rejected the report presented by the Lahore Police and ordered to launch an advertisement campaign on social media against drugs. The court directed the four provincial chief secretaries, the in-charge of the anti-narcotics division, and secretaries of other relevant ministries to devise an action plan to eradicate this disease from academic institutions. Similarly, the government has decided to launch a narcotics campaign in schools to make students aware about this abuse. 

The United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held on June 26 every year introduced a theme of ‘Listen First’ in 2018. The aim of the initiative was to make school children and youth aware about drug use and increase support for its prevention for the wellbeing of their families and communities.

If you know anyone who is going through drug addiction, it is important to help them in the best possible manner because most of the time, they cannot make a decision as drugs have ruined their minds.  Being violent with them will only aggravate the situation.

First of all patient, should be sent to rehab where qualified medical personnel can address their needs. One has to keep in mind that addiction is complicated but treatable and it will affect your brain and behavior. The treatment is long and critical but necessary for critical recovery. The commonly known treatments are counselling and other behavioral therapies. Medication is also required to be taken during withdrawals. The treatment has to be planned according to the patient’s need and must address mental disorders. Detoxification is the first stage of treatment and drugs taken during treatment should be monitored and reduced with the passage of time. 

After the treatment, it is the responsibility of teachers and parents to keep an eye on youngsters and don’t let them think about the reasons which led them to drugs. Appreciate their recovery as an achievement and motivate them to think and act positive.


Madiha Salman

Madiha Salman is a journalist, freelancer and content writer for UMT-Office of Communications

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