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Decline in variety of drug customers in Pakistan, reveals survey The Express Tribune



Even because the Pakistan authorities plans to launch a nationwide survey quickly to doc the true variety of drug customers, estimates counsel their takers have decreased barely over the previous decade .

Officials say tough estimates up to now counsel that about 9 million folks, or a little bit over 4% of Pakistan’s inhabitants, are presently affected by varied varieties of medication, in comparison with about 6% in 2013.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the eve of the International Day of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which is being noticed on Sunday, Sabino Sikandar Jalal, a senior official on the Ministry of Narcotics Control, stated that 60% of drug customers are “addicts”. labeled as. While the remaining 40% are “occasional users”.

Current estimates, nonetheless, are based mostly on a number of small surveys and estimates because the nation’s anti-drug authorities haven’t carried out a correct survey to establish the variety of affected since 2013 because of “non-availability of budget”.

Jalal stated the federal government goes to launch a nationwide survey to doc the present variety of drug customers subsequent month in collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

According to the final survey carried out collectively by the ministry and UNODC, the variety of opium customers was 6.7 million. Of these, 13% had been ladies.

“The non-availability of latest data is itself a problem for us and other concerned authorities as we cannot take adequate steps to curb this menace and work for rehabilitation of drug users,” he stated.

Sharing an identical view, Dr Manzoor ul Haq, advisor to the UNODC Pakistan Office on Drug Demand Reduction and HIV/AIDS, instructed the Anadolu Agency that solely a brand new survey would present the precise scenario. He stated the rise or lower in numbers at this stage relies on “assumption”.

joint effort

Jalal stated a “joint effort” of assorted legislation enforcement businesses, notably the Antinarcotics Force (ANF) and the Pakistan Navy, was behind the decline within the variety of drug customers within the nation.

According to a 2013 survey, about 6% of the inhabitants, or 6.7 million folks, used managed substances, together with overdoses of pharmaceuticals.

Pakistan is believed to be on a serious route of heroin smuggling from neighboring Afghanistan, which produces 90% of the world’s whole opium.

Afghan opium is smuggled around the globe besides in Latin America.

According to UNODC and the ministry, 40% of opium from opium-rich Afghanistan is smuggled into Europe and Africa by sea and land through Pakistan.

The so-called “southern route” is used for drug trafficking in Africa and Europe through sea, whereas the standard “northern route” or “Balkan route” – is used through land through Iran, Turkey and Russia. Used to ship opium to Europe. ,

The southwestern Balochistan province, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, is alleged to be a serious transit level for drug trafficking between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The route can be infamous for smuggling Iranian petroleum merchandise.

According to UNODC, there are reportedly a whole lot of thousands and thousands of small cell laboratories working alongside the chaotic Pak-Afghan border for opium processing.

Traditionally, charas and bhang (ready from the leaves of the hashish plant) had been essentially the most generally used medication in Pakistan for a very long time.

According to a 2013 survey, hashish was essentially the most generally used drug, with a prevalence of three.6% of the inhabitants, equal to 4 million customers nationwide.

Heroin grew to become well-liked amongst drug customers after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, which led to the large exodus of Afghan refugees to Pakistan.

The earlier survey listed an estimated 860,000 or 0.8% of the inhabitants as common heroin customers and 320,000 (0.3%) as opium customers.

Jalal stated that Pakistan, like many different nations around the globe, has seen a rise in artificial medication comparable to “ice” and “ecstasy” over the previous decade, primarily amongst youth.

drug trafficking sufferer

The Pakistani official stated the world ought to see his nation as a “victim” because it has “suffered greatly from drug trafficking” from Afghanistan.

He urged the worldwide group to assist Islamabad in its struggle towards drug trafficking “so that it can react and respond accordingly to stop this menace.”

Pakistan was declared an opium-free nation by the United Nations in 2001, and Islamabad has efficiently maintained the standing since then.

According to Jalal, there are a whole lot of thousands and thousands of rehabilitation and counseling facilities for drug customers run by federal and provincial governments throughout the nation.

Still, he stated, “it is not enough as the global resurgence ratio is 60% to 70%”.

Haq stated UNODC is working a lot of assist applications with faculties and marginalized communities to stop drug use amongst kids and youth.

“(UNODC) also advances cross-border law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation and intelligence-sharing to disrupt international smuggling enterprises,” he stated.

To goal rising drug trafficking by way of waterways, he stated the group is “strengthening container control and interception capabilities at ports and sensitizing port authorities and commercial shipping companies to the associated risks.”


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