DRUG ABUSE SCENARIO
National drug abuse assessment 2006 / 07
United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Anti Narcotics Force, carried out a National Drug Abuse Assessment 2006/07. The report on this Assessment contains data of opioid users and also highlights statistics and analysis of patterns and trends in drug abuse in Pakistan.
Factors responsible for increase of drug abuse in Pakistan
Drug of choice
- Increased availability of drugs at low prices.
- Rapidly changing social norms which place new demands on individuals for which drugs offer a false solution.
- Lack of jobs and economic frustration.
- Lack of proper interest in education, peer pressure and negligence of parents.
- Existence and operation of drug dens.
- Lack of drug education within the family and in educational institutions.
- Apathy on the part of community leaders in responding to drug abuse symptoms.
What are Opioids
- Hashish (cannabis) is the most commonly used substance
- Sedatives and Tranquilizers
- Injecting drug use
- Solvent Abuse among Street Children
Opioid users (estimated number of 628,000 opioid users in Pakistan)
- Buprenorphine, Sosegon, Codeine, Morphine, Pentazocine are Synthetic Opioids
Drug injecting users
- Heroin Users: Heroin remained the most popular drug being abused by 77% or approximately 484,000. These findings mirror those of Drug Abuse Assessment undertaken in 2000 (estimated number of heroin users in 2000 drug abuse assessment was 500,000). Given the massive increase of opium and heroin production in neighboring Afghanistan this stability in prevalent rates is a notable achievement.
- Age Group: The opioid users fall in the age bracket of 15-64 years which is very high rate.
Major drugs of use
- Over the last one decade the drug abuse problem has become more complicated as the number of IDUs has doubled. There are an estimated 125,000 injecting drug users
- It is important to note that in the year 2000 the absolute number of injecting drug users in Pakistan was 60,000, which almost doubled in 2006, an alarming trend that needs to be addressed on priority
- In 1990’s the proportion of injecting users was reported between 2 and 8 percent of opiod users
- In 2000 injecting was reported among 15 percent (60,000)
- In 2006 up to 29 percent (125,000) injected drugs
Initiation of drug
- Cannabis is the most commonly used substance followed by sedatives and tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines, heroin, opium and other opiates
- Ecstasy & cocaine (ATS) are emerging drugs especially among youth belonging to the higher socio-economic groups in some urban centres in Pakistan
- Inhalant abuse is common among street children
Reasons of starting drugs
- Average age of initiation of drug use is 18 years
- Majority of drug users interviewed had used Charas (Cannabis) as the first substance in their lifetime
- Influence of friends or peer pressure
- Social and family stresses
- Sibling or other family member’s use of drugs
- To heighten sexual pleasure
- To overcome frustrations/tragedies
- As pain medication