Karachi after New York is the highest drug-consuming city in the world. New York and Karachi share the problem of drug consumption along with sharing positions on the world map. Pakistan as a whole has 6.7 million drug users, out of which 4.25 million are addicts.
Reports of 2019 show that a huge amount of 41.95 metric tonnes of cannabis was consumed in Karachi. Though New York has a consumption of 77.44 metric tonnes, which is quite high still Karachi holds a second position in the global rankings.
Mohammed Ali Rauf, the managing director at Promise Rehabilitation Centre, Karachi told The News,” After New York, Karachi is the city with the most drug consumption in the world”. He also adds that all types of drugs- heroin, alcohol, teryak, crystal meth, cocaine, sleeping pills, and ecstasy, can be ordered online and delivered at home.
Why Is Drug Abuse An Everyday Reality?
The scarcity of jobs which has led to rampant unemployed youth with bleak future prospects is the major reason behind this ugly problem. A survey profile of the Regional Office for The Eastern Mediterranean of the World Health Organization reveals ‘bad company’, poor employment opportunities, and financial strains as major reasons for getting into drug abuse.
The easy smuggling of drugs in the city also is a huge problem. A local farmer in the fishing neighborhood of Rehri Goth told the Dawn, ”Procuring drugs here is as easy as getting a bottle of water”. Local activist estimates 150 deaths in Rehri Goth due to self-injecting.
Drugs Via Afghanistan Route
The forbidden opium poppy cultivation happens in the south of Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar which border Pakistan. Smuggling is rampant and easy as the area is inhospitable due to which there is a lack of officials commanding and border crossing points.
Migration, urbanization, and an increase in population have led to the exacerbation of the problem of trafficking of Hashish from Khyber Pakhtunwala and Afghanistan. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that cultivation contributes to the problem of drug abuse.
According to The Print, Pakistan’s Anti Narcotics Force has reported that 40 percent of Afghan Drug Trafficking utilises drug trade routes passing from Pakistan, composed mainly of heroin and charas.
Drugs As A Profitable Business
Along with Cannabis, party/recreational drugs such as ecstasy, methamphetamines, and LSD are on the rise. The drug trade(Cocaine, Opium, Hashish) is believed to generate $2 billion every year.
The street value of the rich man’s drug Cocaine is PKR 8000-20000 per gram which is also a commonly used drug according to WHO. Crystal Meth which roughly costs PKR 1200- 4000 per gram is said to have become more prevalent in the lower and middle-income groups.
Desire For Treatment And Stigma Around
According to UNODC, approximately 75 percent of opium users have expressed their inclination for treatment. But the obstacles of affordability and accessibility were also mentioned by them.
Tariq Khosa, Pakistan’s former Secretary of Narcotics Control, has that “Drug use in society was ignored due to stigma or lack of empathy by the government and bureaucracy. An ostrich-like approach has resulted in the problem being felt across the urban as well as rural areas.”
The stigma around drug abuse is age-old. This stigma does not treat drugs as a menace but instead holds drug consumers responsible. They take drug consumers as inherently evil and believe that choosing drugs as a constant is in the control of the victims.
Recently, US President has pardoned federal offenses of marijuana possession. This is seen as a step to ease the stigma around drugs. Kamala Harris also reiterated that this move by Biden Administration is about correcting drug policies. It is time that South East Asian countries also think of policies to see drugs as trouble and not the consumers.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth
Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi
This post is tagged under: Pakistan, New York, Karachi, Afghanistan, Drugs, Opium, Cannabis, Cocaine, LSD, Marijuana, Drug Addicts, World Health Organisation, USA, Smuggling, Stigma, illegal, Drug Trade, ecstasy, treatment, trafficking, online, heroin, methamphetamine, hashish, UNODC
Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.