One can be dumbfounded and bewildered as to how our younger generation has succumbed to the plight of illicit drug addiction. According to the united nation’s office on drugs and crime, Pakistan has approximately 7.6 million users.
More than 4 million of these are addicts, amongst the highest number for any country in the world. This situation seems quite perplexing and alarming and one that has become the bane of existence for many youngsters who have kneeled before the might of drug addiction.
These drugs have turned their will and conscience to be tainted by the ‘ faux euphoria ‘ they create, masquerading the actual affliction and trauma caused by these illegal substances.
Another reason for the sudden upsurge in drug addiction among teenagers, is the onset of depression and various other mental illnesses
In the last few decades, drug addiction has increased exponentially in Pakistan among many youngsters around the country.
What prompts our youth to start taking drugs
Usually in our society, drug addiction among these youngsters always start when they ludicrously step into a death trap in the name of ‘experimental use’ of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, this drug use becomes more frequent.
For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications, or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication.
Another reason for the sudden upsurge in drug addiction among teenagers, is the onset of depression and various other mental illnesses, rapidly coursing in our society like forest fire, engulfing the willpower of many powerless souls with the nasty ecstasy that these drugs bring with them.
In a society where youngsters must deal with peer pressure and the struggle to always be delivering ‘results’ and accolades, the average teenager is unable to shoulder the burden of expectations and therefore ends up playing havoc with his life and body.
Those with depression face an uphill battle every day. Many elements of depression overlap with the signs of addiction, making it essential that people get the appropriate care and treatment for both disorders. Both depression and addiction can cause a person to give up social activities or hobbies, refuse to acknowledge a problem and experience issues with personal relationships.
For someone suffering from depression, it can be extremely tempting to want to relieve these feelings with drugs or alcohol. Ultimately, though, abusing substances to ease depression can cause even more harm to an individual’s life – from financial troubles to personal hardships.
Need to highlight the problem
According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs. This means that roughly 1 in every 4 people who suffer from a mental illness also suffer from chronic substance abuse.
Exposure to drug abuse during the immature gatherings these young people become associated with, is another key aspect for the rise in drug abuse among the youth. It has become somewhat of a perturbing and concerning trend among these young foolhardy teens.
For someone suffering from depression, it can be extremely tempting to want to relieve these feelings with drugs or alcohol
Solely, in the name of just merely trying to be cool, these individuals involve themselves with substance abuse. This immature act of being cool by doing drugs is a bubble of façade these youngsters are trapped in.
Nowadays we are awestricken to find out that these said individuals are involving them with all the new drugs that pop up on the block. Seeing youngsters romanticizing ‘taking pills’ or quoting ‘Xanax’ and ‘weed’ in every conversation they have, just speaks of how much our youngsters need therapy.
To think about something extremely detrimental as being cool is an alarming sign for our country. Another issue of these drugs is the increase in AIDS through sharing of needles which has sky-rocketed in recent years.
In 2007, Pakistan had an estimated 90,000 injecting drug users but the number had risen to around 500,000 by 2014. This increase has also been accompanied by an increase in HIV positivity. According to research, in 2005, about 11 percent of Pakistani drug users were HIV positive.
It is without a shadow of dubiety that most of these illegal drugs come from the neighboring Afghanistan This influx of smuggled drugs from Afghanistan has clearly ameliorated at a startling rate where Cannabis is the most used drug of them all.
The number of drug users is particularly high in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, which neighbors Afghanistan, where close to 11 percent of the population is hooked on drugs. In 2013, the number of drug users in Balochistan was 280,000.
These demographics clearly suggest a massive increase in the use of drugs among areas bordering Afghanistan. The number of these addicts is increasing at the rate of 40,000 per year making Pakistan one of the most drug affected countries in the world.
Drug Usage Is increasing day by day and the government is on the usual role of turning a blind’s eye to such a sensitive situation.
Merely holding press conferences and verbally criticizing the current situation is all what the government has achieved so far in their grandiose endeavors of eradicating substance abuse in Pakistan. It’s both a shame and a concern as to how our government takes sensitive issues so lightly.
They can take notice and actions against rival politicians whenever they feel cornered but fail to recognize the actual problems our society is facing.
Therefore, it is advised that the government should come up with laws that set strict punishments against drug traffickers and should start a nation-wide crackdown against all drug dealers.
Moreover, the borders of our country should be patrolled and thoroughly guarded so that there will be no drug trafficking in the future.
Salis Malik is an engineering student and works with various national and international think tanks. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.