HYDERABAD - Drug abuse is rapidly growing in Pakistan, especially among youth including those in colleges and universities, resulting in serious social and health implications while almost five per cent of the adult population has already been addicted to drugs across the country keeping Pakistan at the top of the list among the countries which are affected by this scourge.

Each year, the United Nations recognises International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26. The purpose of this day is raise awareness of the worldwide problem that society faces from the use of illicit drugs, indeed, all over the world, this day is recognised and supported by various organisations and communities.

Consultant Psychiatrist Professor Chairman Department of Psychiatry LUMHS and Psychiatrist of Sir Cowasji Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad Dr.Moin Ansari shared these remarks while talking to APP on the eve of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Dr Moin Ansari expressing regrets said that large number of the population of the country has been involved in drug addiction and the number is still rising alarmingly with the use of contraband drugs, alcohol, tranquilizers and anti-depressants.

He said that many people get depressed and start feeling sick. Physical health and sexual health of addicts weaken so rapidly that a young man of thirties looks like an old man of over-sixties. Drug use in general leads to a number of health problems, such as malnutrition, apathy and loneliness said Dr moin.

Dr Moin Ansari said that parents can recognize their addict children by noting symptoms including deep body emaciation, strong loss of appetite, strong nervous disturbance, much money demand, telling lie to get money, long sleeping time, laziness, constipation, irregularities in work and studies.

Dr Moin Ansari said that the drug production and addiction in Pakistan has been increased during last 20 years, he said and informed that the issue of drug addiction is often overshadowed by the many of other human development problems, such as poverty, illiteracy and lack of basic health care,added.

He said that widespread drug abuse may be indicated by the fact that almost five percent of the adult population is using drugs in Pakistan. The law enforcing organizations not only turn a blind eye to this illegal trade they, at times, are also part of the business, he said.

Dr Moin Ansari informed that Pakistan is not alone in fighting against this menace and with the globalization of the drug abuse problem in the last two decades the situation has gone from bad to worse, so much so that the United Nations Commission on narcotic drugs no longer discusses individual situations.

He said that alcohol is not the only drug hollowing our society, however. Charas, nowadays, is also easily available and consumed by a growing number of young adults and youth.

He said that narcotics are a social curse and the masses, especially the youth, should realize that this menace not only causes mental and physical damage, but also destroys the addict’s family and obviously harms society as a whole, he added.

Dr Moin Ansari said that there is a need to not only debate and take serious measures to stop this systematic destruction of our society but also to aggressive campaign against the people and organizations behind the trade.

He said that creating awareness among the children, youth, parents and other members of the society can help but it will never solve the problem.

He said that the major responsibility lies on the law enforcement agencies who have to take stern actions in this regard and the civil society organizations have been wary of this issue and in certain parts of our area, rehabilitation work was also done to get rid of this evil.

He said that teachers can play significant role to aware the students about drug abuse situation in the country to convey message to the entire society regarding this alarming issue.

He said that there is need of effective awareness to inform the students about drug abuse and motivate them to conduct research and share its findings with the society. He said that teachers are the ideal for the students and their personality influence students to change their actions. He suggested that the government should establish treatment centers in all district and taluka headquarter hospitals of the country for treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Dr Moin Ansari said that politicians, NGOs and the Ulemas should come forward and create awareness among the people and youngsters, so that they felt disgust towards all forms of addiction.