According to the World Health Organization, due to the frequent use of alcohol and drugs results in 3.3 million deaths each year all around the world. On average, every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per year, especially its use is common in western part of the world, but now paradigm shifts significantly and East is not far behind to use alcohols & drugs, especially underdeveloped countries like Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
Less than half the population 38.3%, drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 litres of pure alcohol annually. Some 31 million persons have drug use disorders. Almost 11 million people inject drugs, of which 1.3 million are living with HIV, 5.5 million with hepatitis C, and 1 million with both HIV and hepatitis C and with some other psychological disorders. However, it is a global issue and challenge for any nation to prevent it from its use because, despite knowing the negative consequences, people especially, youth is so compulsive and out of the control from its utilization on the regular basis.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Pakistan has 6.7 million drug users. More than 4 million of these are addicts, amongst the highest number for any country in the world”. These are shocking numbers and alarming condition too for all of us to think and take it seriously because these numbers are increasing dad by day exponentially. Ironically, every year government of Pakistan imposes more taxes on these things, and every year the number of users increase accordingly.
In fact, morally, ethically, religiously, socially, economically, use of drugs & alcohols is strongly prohibited and restricted because its excessive use makes user unconscious and takes his/her senses. Consequently, many problems spring out from it. Our youngsters are the most affected of this because they are in their mature age and in good health and never feel its effects immediately. Availability of drugs & alcohols, though banned by government time to time, but its illegal supply from Afghanistan and other neighboring countries reach out users easily.
Some of the common drug & alcohol types used by people in Pakistan are, Cannabis, local, domestic, international alcohols, Opiates: heroin or opium, Stimulants: amphetamine-type stimulants and cocaine, Non-medical use of prescription drugs, Solvents or inhalants, and Poly-drug use, charas etc.
The question arises that why young generation particularly, and people of every age in general, take drugs & alcohols? What are the visible and invisible reasons behind this whole worst situation? What I have observed from my surroundings by asking questions from some of the people that why you utilize drugs & alcohols? They all answered, “bus aise hee”, means, they do not have genuine reason to take it? These answers took earth from my feet because someone who harms himself/herself and do not have the reason why they do it?
This situation reminds me the condition of those people, who were the victim of WWI & WWII. After shocks of the back to back world wars put a whole humanity on its toes and uncertainty hangs around their neck that what to do? What not to do? Why to do? Why not to do? As Samuel Becket in his absurd play Waiting for Godot defines, “Nothing to be done”.
This is a psychological trauma people face that drives them towards using drugs and alcohols, which has some reasons like, unemployment, uncertainty of the future, idleness, bad structure of the environment, bad schooling of the homes, company of the friends, unawareness of the consequences, non-serious behavior of the individuals, inequality of the rights, brutality of the state, frustration of not being respected at homes or in the society, depression, absence of parental association, work force, and so on.
The effects of using drugs & alcohols are very dangerous, no question about it. It deteriorates health from its very root, dysfunction brain from working normally, kills protective cells in the body, destabilizes immune system of the body. Consequently, many epidemic diseases develop in the body and brain like, cancer, HIV/AIDS, sugar, heart or lung cancer, hepatitis, brain disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, and so on. Resultantly, death becomes their ultimate destiny. A person becomes vulnerable to catch up in any disease easily.
Recently, it has been studied by the medical experts that COV-19 is caught up by those people who are regular user of drugs and alcohols because their immune system is already damaged as compare to those who do not take these injurious drugs and alcohols. Socially, these drug users distance themselves from their family affairs, remain less active in the societal system, always live with anxiety and stress. Story does not end here. There are some other sexually transmitted diseases that these people get on, including, syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and genital herpes.
Youth is considered as the backbone for any nation because they drive the wheels of the success. If the youth gets involved in such acts of drug addiction, then that nation cannot move forward and succeed in any department of life in this postmodern era where everything goes fast like rocket. Our youth is our strength therefore, it is the fundamental responsibility of every responsible citizen, stake holders, parents, teachers, government institutions, NGO’s, social workers, religious preachers, to come together to prevent the use of these deadly drugs and alcohols which kills our hundreds of thousands of youngsters every year, and moves millions to death. Before, it gets too late, this is the time to strike and get united against the excessive use of drugs and alcohols.