Rawalpindi - Speakers addressing a seminar titled “The Role of the Youth in Drug Abuse Prevention” here on Wednesday said that youth and the media should play an effective role in creating a drug-free society.

They said that it was very important for all stakeholders to play a vital role in protecting the youth from drug and providing the best possible resources to the youth to improve their living standard. The seminar was organised by Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) in collaboration with narcotics control division (NCD), ministry of interior, and narcotics control, government of Pakistan, with an aim to create awareness among the youth about the harmful effects of drug.

On the occasion, Secretary NCD Muhammad Galib Ali was the chief guest while PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad was the guest of honour. A large number of faculty members, students and officials of NCD also attended the seminar.

At the seminar, Galib highlighted the role of the government in the prevention of drug abuse. He congratulated PMAS-AAUR administration for organising this awareness programme and appreciated the efforts to prevent youth from becoming victims of drug abuse. He said that the issue of drug abuse needed immediate attention suggesting that print, electronic media and the civil could play an effective role in creating awareness among the masses about the harmful effects of drug. He hoped a better and brighter future for the students.

Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad in his address said PMAS-AAUR was making efforts to keep a strong check on the activities of its students and had constituted several committees which were playing their role in refraining students from engaging in unhealthy and negative activities. He said that elimination of poverty, ignorance and pessimistic approach were necessary for bringing an end to drug addiction in the country.  He said healthy activities like sports and debates played a great role in preventing students from becoming addicts. The VC assured full cooperation from PMAS-AAUR to play its role in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts at all forums. He further stated, “It is our responsibility to save our generation from drug abuse in order to build a progressive, prosperous and drug free Pakistan.”

Muhammad Hafiz, joint secretary NCD, Iqrar Hussain, narcotics control expert, and Dr Ayesha Siddiqua in their presentations highlighted the role each individual could play in order to make a difference in society, especially in minimising drug abuse in the society. They told the participants that the use of drug in the society was due to psychological and socio-cultural factors. Drug use could be prevented if proper measures are taken, and public awareness seminars and campaigns can also be helpful in this matter, they added. They said that public perception about the drug addicts could be changed. They said that addiction was a treatable ailment, but due to lack of awareness addicts were seen as criminal in the society while in fact they were patients in need of special attention and proper care.