Drug use in colleges & universities rapidly growing
One out of every 10 students is a drug addict
Islamabad, June 26: Drug abuse is rapidly growing in Pakistan, especially amongst
youth in colleges and universities, resulting in serious social and health
Almost five per cent (five million) of adult population in
the country is using drugs and its use is growing at an annual rate of seven per
cent, while according to estimates, one out of every 10 college/university
students in Pakistan is a drug addict.
According to a National
Assessment study on Drug Abuse in Pakistan, there are estimated 500,000 heroin
users and 125,000 injecting drug users in the country and the number of latter
has doubled since 2000, which is alarming. Over 40,000 street children are
involved in solvent substance abuse in merely four major cities of the country
namely Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and the twin cities of Islamabad and
Rawalpindi, the study reveals.
"Over the last 20 years, the increasing
number of drug addicts has brought a bad name to the country and today, Pakistan
is highly notorious for the phenomenon," said Head of Community Medicine at
Islamabad Medical & Dental College, Islamabad Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf
Chaudhry, in connection with the United Nations
International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking that is observed
on June 26 each year around the globe.
The United Nations Office on
Drugs & Crime (UNODC) leads the international awareness raising campaign of
the major problems that illicit drugs represent to society and especially to
young people. "The theme of this year, the same as of 2007 and 2008, 'Do Drugs
Control Your Life? Your life. Your community. No place for drugs' communicates
that the destructive effects of illicit drugs concern us all," said Dr Ashraf.
According to UNODC, nearly 200 million people worldwide are using illicit drugs
such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates and sedative hypnotics.
The world of drug addicts is also getting bigger in the twin cities of
Rawalpindi and Islamabad. According to an estimate, the peddling of narcotics is
going on at more than 80 points in Rawalpindi city without any check. At these
points, hashish, charas, opium, heroin and morphine is being sold by both male
and female agents. "Most of the male agents are kiosk owners, vendors, vegetable
sellers, beggars, automobile mechanics and shopkeepers, but they actually sell
narcotics to their clients," said Dr Ashraf.
The main drug-peddling
points are located in areas of Raja Bazaar, Banni, Pirwadhai, Sadiqabad and
Chaklala Scheme III. Cannabis (hashish) is the cheapest of all narcotics and
easily available in the twin cities at the rate of Rs20,000 per kilogram while
heroin - a highly addictive substance - is available for Rs100 per dose.
"Drug addicts are mostly found busy in their activities in extremely
unhygienic areas, especially near nullahs and shrines, bus stops and railway
stations," said Dr Ashraf adding that covered in ragged clothes with untrimmed
hair and bearded faces, drug users spend days under the sky without having any
To a query, Dr Ashraf said often the narcotic substance is linked
to factors such as risk taking behaviours that might involve experimenting with
narcotics, smoking and alcohol, social isolation, the need to cope with
unfamiliar and stressful situations, peer pressure (bad company), unemployment,
excessive pocket money by parents and lack of supervision, the desire for social
acceptance, boredom, curiosity, just to feel good, weak religious beliefs and a
lot of free time at their disposal.
"While some of the physical effects
of drugs may sound nice, they do not last long. Many people get depressed and
start feeling sick shortly after being on drugs, while the physical and sexual
health of addicts weaken so rapidly that a young man in his 30s looks like an
old man of over 60 when on drugs," he added.
Drug abuse causes not only
the economic breakdown of a family but also the loss of self-confidence and will
on part of the addict along with the loss of job, indulgence in crimes such as
theft, and suicidal thoughts. Drug addicts are also more prone to accidents and
are at higher risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B & C and tuberculosis. Married
drug addicts have a high probability of having mentally retarded and physically
handicapped children, said Dr Ashraf.
Talking about the preventive
measures of drug use, he said parents could recognise addiction in their
children by noting some of the symptoms including deep body emaciation, loss of
appetite, difficulty in breathing and fatigue, strong nervous disturbance,
prolonged home absences, much money demand, lying to get money, remaining
isolated, long sleep periods, laziness, pale face, tremors in fingers,
constipation, irregularities in work and studies, and marks and traces of abuse
on the body. "Parents after witnessing even a few of the above symptoms in their
child should immediately get him/her examined," advised Dr Ashraf.
addict is a sick person and needs humanistic treatment that comprises three
stages - assessment, detoxification and rehabilitation. The most difficult part
of the treatment is rehabilitation in which there is a need to motivate a
patient to take up any healthy activity preferably away from old places and old
company. "No one should be stigmatised because of his dependence on drugs," he
For the prevention and control of drug abuse, he urged running
campaigns through mass media, essay contests, lectures and declamation contests
in schools, colleges and universities in order to create awareness about the ill
effects of drug addiction. The evidence points to a pressing need of taking drug
abuse very seriously, and parents and teachers along with government and public
health agencies should be alert to the rising epidemic of drug abuse among the
Dr Ashraf said efforts should be made to control
tobacco smoking in the country, as it is the gateway to drug abuse. "Parents
should be vigilant and keep an eye on the company/activities of their children.
They should keep their children busy and motivate them to say their prayers
regularly. He added that the government should solve the unemployment problem in
the country, as economic worries provide a fertile ground to an individual for
"Free quitlines (telephone helpline offering treatment
for addiction and behaviour change) for counselling services should be made
available," he said and added that the government should increase the number of
treatment and rehabilitation centres for drug addicts. Moreover, services
provided for drug dependence in different sectors (government, NGOs, and
private) need to be assessed for their quality, effectiveness and efficiency in
providing a continuum of care and meeting the clients' diverse needs, he said.
The message must be promoted that drugs are slow poison in all forms and
death follows drug addicts, concluded Dr Ashraf.
"Salam, to, The 1 who is the owner of this research, I am A student of IIU islamabad and i am making a video documentary on drugs may i have ur permission to use ur research work in my documentary...plz do reply me on my email id Thanx ."
Name: Rizwan AR
City, Country: Islamabad
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QPMC to initiate four new programmes
Islamabad: The Quaid-a-Azam Postgraduate Medical College (QPMC) of the
Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) will be initiating four new
programmes to produce specialists in various fields including trauma.
These programmes are Masters in Accident and Emergency, and MD in
Critical Medicine, Rheumatology and Blood Transfusion Medicine.
prevailing situation of terrorism in Pakistan makes it mandatory for more and
more doctors who are specialists in the field of trauma to be inducted in public
and private hospitals of Pakistan," the Dean of the Quaid-e-Azam Postgraduate
Medical College Professor Mumtaz Hassan commented here on Thursday. He said
"This is the first time that Masters in Emergency is being introduced in
PIMS receives many disaster victims, most of them requiring
emergency surgeries, intensive care and blood transfusions. "The initiation of
these new programmes will facilitate better management of disasters," Dr. Mumtaz
said. He commented that PIMS has always been in the forefront of disasters. "Our
faculty earned recognition nationally and internationally for managing the
earthquake disaster in the country's Northern Areas," he recollected. There are
seven Intensive Care Units in PIMS.
The Quaid-e-Azam Postgraduate
Medical College has many specialties; it has produced 662 specialists to date.
Appreciating the role of postgraduate residents in PIMS, Professor Mumtaz said,
they are practically running the institution.
"Most of our trained
specialists are now serving in different institutions at home and abroad," he
mentioned. The News
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KMC students form action committee
Peshawar: The student's action committee has been organized
at Khyber Medical College (KMC) to solve the problems of the college students
here on Thursday. According to a press release issued here stated that the
student federations and societies have jointly conducted conference and decided
to organize student's action committee, which they said is necessary for
handling the student's problems at the college. The members of federations
including Islami Jamiat Talba, Pakhtoon Student Federation, Swat Students
Society, Mardan, Dir, Swabi, Malakand, Bajaur, Hangu, Marwat, Bannu, and
Waziristan attend the conference.
They have also decided that the students
facing hostel problems would be solved and joint action would be carried out and
they will never step back from sacrifices. The presiding members including Hafiz
Muhammad Ishtiyaq, Ismail Khan, Kamran Khan, Asif Saood Islam, Aziz ur Rehman,
Abu Bakar on the occasion said that students facing the problem of non
availability of electric generators in load shedding including the lack of
furniture at study rooms, common rooms are part of the students problems. They
have also said on the occasion that they would not tolerate the insult their
guests by campus police, and if their demands would not be fulfilled in time
they will chalk out their own line of action. F.P report
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