Drug addiction in Teens
Teen drug addiction affects teens from all regions. This is because the factors influencing who will try drugs are usually similar, no matter what your family situation or social status may be. The most common reason teens try drugs is peer pressure from environment. Friends or classmates might pressure you into trying a drug, telling you that they’ve tried it and aren’t addicted, so you’ll be fine with it too. In tv and movies, teens are bombarded with images of kids like them using drugs with no negative consequences. It is portrayed as cool or harmless, and the kids who abstain are labeled as nerdy or weird. But with repeated use, that initial harmless taste can lead to a full-blown drug addiction. The fact is that every drug is dangerous and life threatening, and there is not a single drug that doesn’t hold the potential to lead to addiction. Just because a teen is smart, does not mean that he is mature enough to have sound judgment about his decisions.
A senior police official of Pakistan Police Service reportedly said that drug addiction, crimes and terrorism were closely linked. He said that he was posted in Charsadda a few months ago where he had arrested a group of car-lifters, who were also involved in murder of taxi drivers. “The gang comprised four young brothers, who used to hire cabs from other districts and shoot the drivers dead, dumping their dead bodies in a graveyards or fields. Young addicts are prone to terrorist activities as well,” he added.
The ‘Drug Use in Pakistan Survey Report’ a research effort initiated by Narcotics Control Division, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and UN Office on Drug Control (UNODC), is a first serious attempt of its kind to highlight level of drug use in Pakistan. The report estimates that 6 per cent or 6.7 million adults in Pakistan, used drugs in the last 12 months with treatment and specialist interventions in short supply. The treatment services were available to less than 30,000 drug users. Drugs addiction in Pakistan is no less worrisome. Though its neighbours (India, Bangladesh and Maldives as well as Nepal) all have drugs addiction issues, Pakistan is the worst affected throughout South Asia. It is, after all, home to the largest market for heroin consumption. What’s more, Pakistan is also a major exporter of heroin and in fact, approximately fifty tons of opium is illegally brought into Pakistan to produce heroin. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and even Sri Lanka are confronted with drug-related issues where a good number of people are addicted to various forms of drugs.
Drugs addiction among the youth is killing them morally and socially as well as psychologically and even physically. And, drug barons are becoming increasingly wealthier by supplying these drugs that are causing untold misery.
It is time that societies and the governments took a firm stand on preventing the drug addiction through a mix of reforms. There should be a community plan that should be implemented to stop addiction to drugs. This plan must identify the specific drugs that youth are using. It should build on existing resources such as existing drug abuse prevention programs and it should also develop short-term goals relevant to proper implementation of research- based drug abuse prevention programs. In fact, all preventive measures need to address different forms of drug abuse and addiction and should also target different types of drug abuse and addictions. It should also be tailored to address risks that are specific to certain populations or audience characteristics. It must be aimed at specific populations and at major transition points such as at middle-school level.
Unless serious measures are taken now, the very future of a large chunk of today’s youth will be severely compromised. The problem of drug addiction is too real and serious to be ignored. The governments need to involve communities and media in highlighting the perils associated with the drug addiction. Media has a responsibility to highlight such issues with a view to educating people and building a consensus among them to forge a united stand against such scourges.. The response to deal with such an organized group should also be considered for effective output. It calls for sustained action among countries. Individual efforts cannot produce desired results. For long have we have turned a blind eye to such critical issues.
It is now time to be responsible in our actions and save our youth.