What are Drugs? Why is there so much talk about the drugs? Why do people become their victim? Are narcotics called drugs? These are some of those questions which are being asked by many of us. The elders try to answer but not satisfactorily. In spite of many warnings about the dangers of drugs, the number of addicts is increasing rapidly. About 1.5 Million people are said to be drug-addicts and have ruined their lives. Pakistan is one of the worst victims of this menace. Its annual heroin market is of $1.2 billion. According to government sources, 600,000 people become drug addicts annually in Pakistan. It is an alarming situation. The drug-addict looks pale and intoxicated. He lives in a world of fantasy, forgetting everything else. Drugs make him sleepy and depressed. His condition becomes miserable and unfit for any kind of healthy activity. Opium, heroin, marijuana, hashish are the drugs that made the addict doleful. Marijuana and hashish are dried leaves and flowers of a plant called 'hemp'. The leaves, flowers even stalks of this plant are smoked and sometimes chewed. Heroin is a refined form of opium, fifty times more potent than the later.
All these intoxicants have proved damaging to health. Heroin affects the brain and damages the nerve class. A person addicted to it can neither think clearly nor work actively. A state of drowsiness takes hold of him. He takes the drug to relieve his tensions, worries, anxiety and frustration.
How are we caught in the net of drugs? Usually bad companions may offer us or a drug pusher may give it free of cost in the very beginning. Sometimes it is available in the form of a chewable stuff, like "sweet chalia", or "sonf sapari".
Once when someone becomes a victim, it is very difficult for him to shake off the habit. Bright students reduced to failure. The sole bread earners of families are ruined, unable to work and support their families. Therefore, something needs to be done for the survival and rehabilitation of the wretched wrecks living in such hopeless conditions. Even if there appears to be no hope of their survival, we must try our best to return them to normal life. The government has set up rehabilitation centers in all big cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, for the treatment and rehabilitation of the addicts. The cultivation of poppy has been banned. Heroin laboratories in the tribal areas have been closed down.
Although the dilemma of drugs may seem impossible to eradicate, the Ministry of Health can take solid steps that can weaken the grip of drugs on our society, keeping in mind that the majority of drug addicts are our youth. The danger from drugs is too great to ignore. The need of the hour is that the government should establish treatment facilities in small cities and towns. The government must include subjects in the curriculum, highlighting addiction and its disadvantages. The government as well as private drug-addiction treatment facilities must provide incentives to treat abusers. Family members and other loved ones should be bold enough to tackle addiction at their homes. We have to make people aware of the dangers of drugs. We have to the strong enough to refuse the offer of a stranger and stop smoking. Like other countries, the advertisement of cigarettes on the electronic media and in the newspapers should be banned to save the children from this temptation.