Increasing trend of drugs and lack of treatment centres in Hazara

Abdul Khaliq Qureshi

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, despite harmful consequences.

Roughly 8 Million People are Addicted to Drugs in Pakistan, consisting of 78pc males and 22pc females, in a study carried out by the United Nations in 2013. They are reportedly addicted to many different Intoxicants such as Alcohol, Heroin, Charas, Bhung, Opium, Crystal Ice, Cocaine Sniffing and Tranquilizers.

‘The diseases and complications arising from drug addiction are the direct cause of the increasing incidence of loss of life. Across the world, about 200,000 individuals loose their lives annually due to drug addiction.

Globally there are 1.6 Million AIDS, 7.2m Hepatitis C, and 1.2 Million Hepatitis B Drugs induced Patients. Drug addiction has grown to be the sixth largest cause of fatalities among the 15 to 45 age bracket.’

This was crux of the one day seminar ‘Increasing Trend of Drug Addiction in Hazara Division and Lack of Treatment Centers’, organized by Integrated Development, Empowerment & Advocacy for Livelihood Support (IDEALS), a civil society organization here Sunday.

Dr Aftab Alam, Head of Psychiatry Department, Ayub Medical College, in his Key note address, stated that long-term use of drugs also causes changes in brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting learning; judgment; decision-making; memory and behavior.
However, he claimed that drug addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed.

Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

He said that the Use of Drugs is Not a Habit or life style but a disease and requires treatment as such. According to experts, the addiction to intoxicants is also the root cause of many, physical, mental, psychiatric, social and moral ills.

He pointed out that there are many and varied reasons for the rapid increase in drug addiction among the populace, including, ease of availability; lack of awareness and education of it’s damaging effects; social problems; unemployment; poverty; social pressures, and, above all, issues of mental health.

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