Curse of Drug Addiction among Youth in Pakistan Farhat Shabbir

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Curse of Drug Addiction among Youth in Pakistan

Farhat Shabbir

Lahore, Pakistan


Youth is considered as a bridge for structuring means of progress of any nation. Thus, it must be constructed on strong fundamentals. All over the world, persons as well as societies are facing illegitimate drug issues. Illegitimate drug utilization prevents individuals from realizing their full potentials and capabilities; consequently, it becomes a barrier to social growth. The human evils caused by drug dependence are the reparation to traditional values, life styles and National economy. In Pakistan, young generation is destroying themselves being addicted in various types of drugs. Drug addiction is a kind of disorder, if an individual develops, will never be able to put down easily. The purpose of the research was to study the socio-economic and psychological profile of the young addicts, to explore the nature, frequency and duration of drug addiction, to find out the psycho-social, cultural, physical and economic causes of drug addiction, sources of getting drugs, effects of drug addiction, to enquire the post drug feelings of addiction and also to draw recommendations for rehabilitation measures. So, a quantitative study was conducted while using purposive sampling, non-probability sampling method, in different governmental institutions of Lahore. The other sources for data collection were books, journals, articles, thesis, official documents and newspapers. The researcher selected Interview Schedule as a tool for data collection.

According to the study, all the respondents had understanding about “drugs” that create depending upon chars, heroin, cigarette, alcohol, samad bond and drug injection. Factors such as bad company, failure in love, peer pressure, lack of recreational facilities were the main causes cited for the utilization of drugs. Social factors such as illiteracy or lack of education, drug pushers, poverty, etc. were also the reasons of drug addiction among young generation.


Drug addiction is injurious not only for the addicts but also has negative effects on the fabric of the society. The impacts of such addiction can cause harmful changes in the body, mind as well as spirit of the drug addicts. The most alarming aspect of drug addiction is that it is reaching epidemic proportions in the entire world. Drug addiction is much serious issue even if the drug addict is utilizing prescribed drugs; the ailing impacts can be very destructive indeed. Drug addiction is no less worrisome in Pakistan. Though, its neighbours (Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Nepal) all have drug addiction problems, but the worst affected throughout South Asia, is Pakistan. The young generation has become the goal of main drug peddlers. The peddlers sell drugs as well as package them like symbols of revolution and brightness but have no regard for the results of their actions. The youngsters who take the drugs are more likely to commit suicide due to the damaging impact of drugs. Addiction of drugs among the young generation is killing them socially, morally and psychologically even physically. On the other side, drugs barons are becoming wealthier through supplying these drugs which are causing unspeakable gloom. About 6% population of Pakistan, which means, not less than 6.7 million adults, are utilizing drugs of which 78% are men and 22% are women. Most of the young drug users in Pakistan are of 25 years. Men are more likely to utilize cannabis and opiates; on the other hand, prescription drug addiction is dominated by women. Intravenous drug addiction is also significantly high. Addiction of drugs is a complex brain disorder. This is characterized by compulsive, at time uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking and utilization which continue even in the exceedingly negative results. Drug seeking becomes habitual, in large part as a consequence of the impact of prolonged drug utilization on brain functioning as well as on behavior. For most of the people, addiction of drugs become chronic, with relapses probable even after long period of self-denial.

In Pakistan, young generation is damaging themselves by being addicted in various types of drugs. Drugs are a kind of ailment, which if an individual develops, will never enable to put down easily. Most of the drug users in Pakistan are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as in Baluchistan. A query arises here, who is responsible for drug utilization in Pakistan? Parents are to be held responsible for drugs utilization of their children because they have not adequately looked after them. Youth often becomes addicted to drugs because of neglecting of their parents. When youngsters sit in gatherings of elder addict persons then it is very probable that they can involve in drug addiction. Secondly, young people themselves are also responsible because they know about the harmful effects of the drug addiction but still they cannot defy the temptation of utilizing those drugs.

Unluckily, there is an active as well as alive drugs culture in various well-reputed colleges and universities of Pakistan. Many persons in academic institutes are efficiently indulged in the sale of drugs to students as well as they are the ones who encourage other students to utilize drugs for enjoyment. What initiates as enjoyment ends up in life damaging drug addiction for several students. Drugs utilization itself is a societal curse but it supplementary begins more societal ills. The individuals who are drug users require money to buy drugs for themselves. There is a boundary of money which they can acquire from their homes. In adding up, they have to get money by involving in various criminal acts like theft, snatching as well as so on. Even drug users have been seen in killing individuals for money. Hence, curse of drugs has stronger depressing social footprints on the whole society. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the peak prevalence of drug use in Pakistan, with 10.9% of the adult population. Cannabis, opioid as well as tranquilizer or sedative utilization is at peak in KPK. Baluchistan has the chief existence of opiate utilization nationally, specifically for opium. While in several other areas opiate users are more probable to utilize heroin. Sindh has the second highest prevalence ratio for cannabis utilization. On the other hand, users of prescription opioids (painkillers), heroin, and opium are also there. In Pakistan, Punjab is the most heavily populated province. The extent of drug addicts in Punjab is frightening. The ratio of heroin utilizes among 15 to 25 years old is as high as 75%. There are opium as well as heroin users in Punjab. The cosmic majority utilizes amphetamine (prescription stimulants) to be injecting drugs in Punjab.

Literature Review

There are some relevant literatures following as:

Mr. Sahibzada Hussain (2010) conducted a research on “Drugs Addiction and the Youth” and stated in his study that the worst object of being addicted to drugs is that it is disturbing the youth in each part of the world in a major mode. Simple harmful impacts of such addiction involve coma, physical itchiness as well as even premature death. On the other side, the psychological bad impacts can make an individual entirely dependent on taking drugs for surviving. The drug addiction among youth arises due to a perception that they look like to harbor the view of their insufficiency for failing to measure up to their expectations of their elder persons. It has been fashionable for the singers as well as actors to involve stories of drug addiction as well as sexual references in their music. Thus, instead of spreading good values in the youngsters, the entertainment industry is liable for propagating the utilization of drugs which is more fuelling the addiction to drugs in both the developing as well as developed world.

The News (2015), in a report on “Addiction continuous to be on the rise among Pakistani Youth” mentioned that youth is more at risk to drug abuse and the pervasive accessibility of drugs in Pakistan has left the souls of the youngsters like lifeless as they could be. Factors liable for increasing the number of drug addicts risk taking attitudes that may indulge experimenting with narcotics, alcohol as well as smoking, societal isolation, anxiety, stress, peer pressure or bad company, advance life style, hippy culture, unemployment, too much pocket money by parents as well as dearth of attention and supervision, the wish for social acceptance, boredom, only to feel good, curiosity, feeble religious belief as well as lot of free time at their disposal, easy availability of drugs at less prices, presence as well as existence of drug dens are most widespread factors, on the other hand, drugs are also utilized to heighten sexual delight, to defeat frustration, tragedies and as pain medication. The individuals who begin smoking as well as drinking alcohol at immature age are much more likely to experiment with illicit drugs than individuals who do not smoke and drink. Drug addiction leads to a number of health issues like apathy, malnutrition and unbalanced heart beat, overdose deaths, cardiovascular disease, mental or physical retardation, etc. There is financial breakdown of family, failure of self confidence and will to work, loss of job, involvement in crimes like theft as well as suicidal thought.


The following objectives were the part of this study as:

  • To find out socio-economic profile of young drug addicts.

  • To study psycho-social, personal, physical, cultural as well as economic factors responsible for drug addiction.

  • To explore the nature, frequency and duration of drug addiction.

  • To determine the effects of drug addiction among youngsters.

  • To examine the post drug feelings of male young addicts.


Drug addiction is an intervallic or continuous intoxication formed by the repeated consumption of a drug. Its characteristics involve uncontrollable wish to continue having the drugs, a propensity to increase the dose after interval of time, a physical as well as psychological dependence on drugs, impacts of drugs on youth and society. Addiction of drug is an abnormal condition which arises because of frequent drug utilization. It is mainly a chronic disorder upsetting the heart, brain as well as other parts of body. Youth initiate having drugs at their teenage and the first measure of addiction to drugs is smoking. Drugs distress various people in various ways. One individual can have as well as abuse drugs, yet never become addicted; on the other hand, an individual merely has experience as well as is directly hooked. Addiction of drugs is a state in which the body feels comfortable as well as relaxes. Drug addiction among youth is escalating day by day that have a very negative impact on our society.

The researcher selected this topic as it is essential for society of today which is taken over through the curse of drugs, generally College and University students are indulged in it. The major reason is that youngsters are distracting their ambitions and because of it today Pakistan, even after 70 years of independence, is 3rd world country. Another reason is that some persons who desire to quit but because of dearth of health care centers, they are not be able to give up. Some individuals also indulge in illicit activities to take drugs as they are not economically strong. This study will assist to analyze the impacts of drug addiction and will assist to locate better alternatives.


Universe of the present study was comprised of 50 young male addicts, aged between 15-30 years, under treatment in Punjab Institute of Mental Health, Mayo Hospital, Ganga Ram Hospital and Services Hospital, Lahore. The other sources for data collection were books, journals, articles and newspapers. In this research, quantitative research method was used. Survey method was involved. The researcher selected Interview Schedule as a tool for data collection, keeping an eye on, most of the drug addicts were not be able enough to read as well as understand the questions.


In this study, researcher examined the drug addiction by using various indicators. Going through the whole study, the researcher found out following points as:

Majority 54% respondents belonged to the age group of 25-30 years, 30% were between the ages of 20 to 25 and 16% were in the age group of 15-20 years. Majority of 62% respondents belonged to the Lahore Division, 16% Sargodha Division, 11% Gujranwala Division, 7% Faisal Abad Division, 2% Azad Jammu Kashmir, 1 % from Multan Division and 1 % from Karachi Division. Majority 82% were from urban areas and 18% belonged to rural areas. 65% respondents were unmarried and 35% were married. 70%married respondents had their children. Majority of the respondents 89% were living with their families. 64% were educated in which 46% respondents were only primary, middle and metric while 36% were illiterate. 30% were unemployed, 49% were laborers, and 21% were running their own business. Majority of the respondents 85% were hand to mouth. 89% respondents spent their money on purchasing drugs, 48% were from joint families, 65% respondents had 1-3 birth order among siblings, 53% respondents had 4-6 family members and 37% had 7-9 members, 26% respondents’ fathers and 47% respondents’ mothers were illiterate, 87% respondents’ mothers were housewives and 20% fathers were doing Government Jobs, 30% had their personal business and the rest were labourers. 67% respondents fathers and 87% respondents mothers were alive, 41% respondents’ families did not consider their opinions and decisions and 35% thought their decisions got considered to some extent, 70% respondents did not have pocket money as they were self earners, 31% respondents spent their leisure time in smoking, 18% in wandering with friends, 17% in audio video music entertainment, 16% in watching movies, 7% in outdoor games, 6% in gambling and 5% in street crimes. 36% respondents spent their free time with friends in between 3-6 hours and 34% in between 1-3 hours per day. 20% respondents had the opinion as they were affected by media to great extent while 22% to some extent. 48% of the respondents were arrested and went to police station as well as jail, 5% respondents admitted that drugs were introduced in jail. Majority of the respondents 60% had addicted friends in whom 34% were unemployed and 4% were pick pocketers. Most of the respondents 54% started taking drugs in between the age of 15-20 Years. Majority 45% respondents’ duration of being involved in drug was up to 9 years. 46% respondents were taking drugs in the form of smoking, 22% in injection, 17% in drinking, 15% in sniffing and inhaling drugs. Majority 54% respondents’ frequency of drug utilization was more than thrice a day. 56% respondents’ source of obtaining drugs was drug pushers, 20% through Medical Stores, and 24% from friends. Talking about taking drugs for the first time, 37% responses caused bad company, 10% failure in love, 12% in exploration of pleasure, 10% due to family conflicts, 14% due to poverty, 6% inspiration from someone and 1% due to domestic violence, 2% had broken families, 4% bad media impact, while 4% due to easy availability or as an adventure. In gauging the physical causes for continuous addiction, 44% respondents revealed that body discomfort made them habitual addicts, 16% laziness, 11% for sexual power, 29% because of physical energy. 35% respondents became unemployed due to utilizing drugs and 32% had to face poverty. 56% respondents were chars users, 17% injections, 13% heroin, 8% alcohol, 5% samad bond and 1% cocaine users.


In the light of the findings of the present research, the researcher suggested following recommendations as:

  • First of all, parents must be alert in keeping an eye on their children round the clock. Drug transaction would not be controlled by the Government, thus, it is up to the parents as well as members of the civil society to perform their role in eradicating the drugs utilization from the society.

  • This is the time that governments as well as societies take measures to prevent and stop drug addiction. There should be a community plan which should be implemented to prevent drug addiction. It must identify the particular drugs which youngsters are utilizing. This should build on accessible resources like existing drugs abuse deterrence programmes as well as this should also build up short-term goals relevant to appropriate implementation of research based drug abuse prevention programmes.

  • Set up a medication management structure which ensures that psychotropic substances and pain medication are accessible to those who require it, on the other hand, monitoring as well as preventing feasible diversion at various levels such as manufacturing, storage, health-care (prescribing physicians as well as pharmacists), patients. Raising understanding among clinicians as well as policy makers, parents, youngsters and teachers on the results of mistreat of prescription drugs. Training of health care professionals on an on-going basis on how to stop, identify as well as manage the non-medical utilization of prescription drugs and concerned consequences.

  • Government should take administrative, lawful and policy measures that put an end to the curse of drug addiction.

  • Efforts should be done to control the tobacco smoking in the country as this is the gateway to curse of drug addiction.

  • Awareness campaigns by mass media, essay contests, lectures as well as declamation competitions in schools, colleges as well as universities should be run for creating awareness about the bad impacts of drug addiction.

  • Educational departments should build up a curriculum against drugs for addition in textbooks at school, college as well as university levels.

  • Civic awareness campaigns should be run through radio as well as television and more recreational facilities should be developed to take the young generation off the curse of drugs.  


  1. Hussain, S. (2010). “Drug Addiction & The Youth” retrieved from

  2. Qasim, M. (2015). “Addiction Continuous to be on the Rise among Pakistani Youth” International The News. Retrieved from

  3. Ahmadzee, M. (2015). “Curse of Drug Addiction in Pakistan” retrieved from

  4. UNODC. (2013). “Drug Use in Pakistan 2013” retrieved from

  5. Punjab Drug Epidemic” retrieved from

  6. ( ) (2015). “Drug Addiction in Pakistan Youths” retrieved from

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