The term 'narcotics' is used to describe the type of hard drugs that are sniffed, smoked, inhaled, and injected by the users to attain a high. The majority of narcotics victims in our country belong to middle and lower-middle class. Among our elite too, some people use these drugs as a statement of fashion. There is no way one could deny the deadly effects of narcotics on the society. It is, often the root cause of many evils like street crimes, robbery, murders and road accidents. The drug addicts are also likely to be more prone than non-users to various ailments of the mind and body, especially to diseases like cancer and HIV. There is a dire need to take necessary steps for the reduction and control of this evil. To promote awareness about the dangers of use of narcotics, our government should establish special care units and treatment centers for the addicts. Awareness about this evil should be increased in the general public through electronic and print media. Efforts should be made to stop border smuggling and criminals engaged in this business should be hauled up. -ZAINAB SHEIKH, Lahore, February 26.