Taj Nabi Khan
A single mistake of tasting drug like the forbidden fruit of heaven takes the addict to a level of no-recovery – no way to come back to real world. The stunning figure of 7.6 million drug-addicts in Pakistan as per UN report needs thorough understanding of demand-supply-chain of life injurious drugs in the country. The menace of drug-addiction is Pakistan’s enemy number one alongside terrorism – putting the life of millions in danger.
Drug addiction is said to be ‘hidden atrocity against society’ as the addiction leads the individual nowhere but to a dark alley of shame and disgrace – the only way out is a stigmatised death. The inhalation of poisonous smoke burns both mental and physical capacities of addicts into ashes. Thus it quickly turns the individual into a being of good-for-nothing. It is more painful for parents to see their addicted young beloveds in unhealthy condition and in an environment of social disrespect.
The family members of the addicts suffer the most due to their violent behaviour and nature of petty crimes for generating income to acquire drug. Talking to the scribe, a drug-addict from Mardan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Raheem Khan, who has been addicted to heroin for over the last 10 years, when asked how you are living your life. He said, “I am living the life of humiliation – dying every day and every moment as everybody is cursing upon me. I know it is too heavy to carry the burden of social disgrace. But it is impossible for me to quit it now.” The epidemic-effect of drug-addiction is worse than terrorism as the former kills the spirit of the victims for making them unworthy to live a respectable life besides making them burden, blood-suckers and life-long stigma for the entire family. The dangerous-effects of drugs-addiction are slow and invisible – its remedy is often ignored thus no immediate and in-time measures are taken unless the whole society is eaten-away from the inside.
Who could be held responsible for making the variety of lethal drugs ranging from cannabis (hashish) opium, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, crystal-meth to other potent stimulant drugs easily accessible? Whether the external factors of unemployment, company-of-friends, easy-availability-of-drugs or the internal psychological factors, could be held responsible for the alarming increase in the number of drug-addicts in the country? A recently introduced drug called ice, crystal-meth or crack, one of the most dangerous and brain-damaging harmful-drugs usually snorted, injected or smoked, has gotten more popularity as party drug which is mostly used in educational institutions and hostels in different cities of the country.
Thus on one hand, the cocaine-addicts are shifting to this deadly drug while on the other, a large number of girl-students living in bachelor-hostels have also been reported to get addicted to this drug. It is said that one dose of ice triggers more than 1,200 units of dopamine that is 350 percent more intense than cocaine and produces six times more energy that what the body can do at its own. It is, therefore, leaving more dangerous effects on the human body than other organic drugs. The drug can keep the addict alert for two-to-three days at least without eating, that’s why dependency on the drug leads to paranoia, hallucinations and behavioral issues – it’s long-term use can lead to psychosis and uncontrolled violent behaviors. Ice – once enters in human body make life poisonous not only for the addict but also of his acquaintances.
The addict gets the confidence that he is 100% correct in his decisions and nobody on earth can challenge him. It is also said that with the use of new formulas, the drug is now locally prepared in different cities of the country. The alarming increase in the number of addicts in KP and rest of the country could be decreased by formulating another National Action Plan (NAP) having comprehensive internal policy with coordinated efforts of the authorities concerned to launch an aggressive operation against producers, sellers, purchasers, and smugglers of life injurious drugs.
— The writer is freelance columnist, based in Islamabad.