Drug abuse is increasing in educational institutions across Pakistan. Students, whether be at schools, colleges or universities, are getting addicted to substances at an alarming rate, threatening not only their own future, but those of people around them, including family and friends.
Despite the great harm that drugs and substance abuse causes to the physical and mental health of youngsters, no concrete action has been taken by either the government or the educational institutions. The narrative against drugs is just that, a narrative and no steps are seen on the ground to steer the youth away from this menace.
According to a report by an NGO, 53% students of leading private school in Islamabad are addicted to drugs. That’s more than half of the schoolgoing population in the country’s capital. Another report that reports data from schools and universities in Lahore indicates that 57% of the students in Pakistan were using at least one drug. Another survey said that one of every 10 university students were addicted to drugs and almost 50% of the students of elite educational institutions were addicted to drugs.
So Why Drugs?
There are multiple reasons why students get addicted to drugs. For example, dysfunctional families in which parents cease to give home and family ample time are prone to have kids get involved in harmful escapades like drugs.
Another reason why many youngsters lean towards drug abuse is the misplaced “coolness” attached with using such substances in the media and popular culture. Then there is also the pressure from friends who do drugs. Those who stick to the safety are often dubbed weak and uncool and many unknowingly fall into this trap to avoid daily ridiculing and for want of acceptance in groups. And of course there are other myths like “it helps me focus”, “it gets my mood up” and so on.
How To Cope?
The menace of drug abuse is not just limited to Pakistan but a global problem. Many countries have done tremendous work to deal with drug addiction and they have achieved great success.Each year on June 26, The United Nations International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking is celebrated. The purpose of this is to raise awareness among people about harmful effects of drugs on this society. So the first step is definitely making youngsters aware of the problem.
The Pakistani government has begun taking action against drugs and its abuse. Countermeasures are being deployed and drug dealers and pushers are being dealt with increased strictness. Besides the government, administrations of schools, colleges and universities also carry great responsibility to eradicate the menace of drugs. Students should undergo medical tests before admissions and any user of drug should be denied admission. Students should be thoroughly monitored on campuses to check if they are taking drugs. These little measure may look little, but can go a long way in saving hundreds of students from falling into the abyss of drug abuse.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views and policy of The Academia Magazine.