Pakistan’s Problem of Drug Addiction & the Solution

Drug usage is one the most widely discussed issues in every part of the world. The reason it is always stayed in the limelight is the adverse effects of drug use and the ever increasing usage that hooks usually on the young blood. Drug abuse is different from addiction. Drug abuse means to use a product illegally in ways that are harmful. Whereas, addiction is a disorder which leads to compulsive use of a substance despite the harmful effects. Both are connected in a way that drug abuse starts first and leads to addiction. According to World Drug report by UN, the most commonly used drug in Pakistan is opioids. Opioids are most common in people between the ages 15 and 64; heroin being the most popular opioid in use.

Most of the people in our society do not intend to talk about this mammoth issue. Whenever we come across a person who uses drugs, we tend to criticize them, malign them and corner them into solitude besides helping them. There are many reasons that lead a person to become a drug addict and in order to eradicate this virus that is corrupting our society; we need to understand the cause. One of the most common reasons why people start using drugs is depression. There can be many causes of depression and most of the people who have depression do not even know how to deal with it or get rid of it. Depression is a mental illness and it needs to be treated by a doctor who specializes in mental illnesses; a psychiatrist. There are other reasons leading to addiction like self-medication (where a person increases/abuses the use of a medicine in order to relief the pain), Family history of addiction and some people get into it just by being curious and wanting to experiment with the drug.

Now most of us already know about the problem and the reasons, what we do not know is the solution. One of the widely used solutions by governments is increasing the price of drugs. But this is not enough to keep people from buying them. Because a person who is an addict needs the drug to be in a normal state. If the addict is simply deprived of the drug, after 48 hours the ‘withdrawal symptoms’ starts to show up and the visible physical effects like nausea, cramps in the stomach, vomiting, anxiety, disoriented speech, shaking and sweating etc are visible. The cravings for that drug begin to develop in that time-frame. Hence stopping an addict from buying the drug, or making them unreachable to the drug is not the solution. The very first thing is acceptance. Depression and other mental illnesses are not considered real in our society. A psychiatrist is clichéd as “doctor for the mad people” and hence visiting a psychiatrist is avoided at all cost. So whether it’s about mental issues or addiction, we need to accept the problem is real and the person who is the victim does not need to be kicked out or left alone. The government needs to create Rehabilitation centres where drug addicts can get free treatment and get back to normal life. Second, as mostly the young generation gets into addiction while being in colleges & universities, there should be a counsellor at every college/university to guide the individuals and help the m engage in healthy activities in order to develop them into better human beings.

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