Drug Abuse Scenario
National Drug Abuse Assessment 2006 / 07
United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Anti Narcotics Force, carried out a National Drug Abuse Assessment 2006/07. The report on this Assessment contains data of opioid users and also highlights statistics and analysis of patterns and trends in drug abuse in Pakistan.
Factors Responsible for Increase of Drug Abuse in Pakistan
Increased availability of drugs at low prices.
Rapidly changing social norms which place new demands on individuals for which drugs offer a false solution.
Lack of jobs and economic frustration
Lack of proper interest in education, peer pressure and negligence of parents.
Existence and operation of drug dens.
Lack of drug education within the family and in educational institutions.
Apathy on the part of community leaders in responding to drug abuse symptoms.
Drug of Choice
Hashish (cannabis) is the most commonly used substance
Sedatives and Tranquilizers
Injecting drug use
Solvent Abuse among Street Children
Opioid Users(estimated number of 628,000 opoid users in Pakistan)
What are Opioids
Buprenorphine, Sosegon, Codeine, Morphine, Pentazocine are Synthetic Opioids
Heroin Users: Heroin remained the most popular drug being abused by 77% or approximately 484,000. These findings mirror those of Drug Abuse Assessment undertaken in 2000 (estimated number of heroin users in 2000 drug abuse assessment was 500,000). Given the massive increase of opium and heroin production in neighboring Afghanistan this stability in prevalent rates is a notable achievement.
Age Group: The opioid users fall in the age bracket of 15-64 years which is very high rate.
Drug Injecting Users
Over the last one decade the drug abuse problem has become more complicated as the number of IDUs has doubled. There are an estimated 125,000 injecting drug users.
It is important to note that in the year 2000 the absolute number of injecting drug users in Pakistan was 60,000, which almost doubled in 2006, an alarming trend that needs to be addressed on priority.
In 1990’s the proportion of injecting users was reported between 2 and 8 percent of opiod users.
In 2000 injecting was reported among 15 percent (60,000)
In 2006 up to 29 percent (125,000) injected drugs.
Major Drugs of Use
Cannabis is the most commonly used substance followed by sedatives and tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines, heroin, opium and other opiates
Ecstasy & cocaine (ATS) are emerging drugs especially among youth belonging to the higher socio-economic groups in some urban centres in Pakistan
Inhalant abuse is common among street children
Initiation of Drug
Average age of initiation of drug use is 18 years
Majority of drug users interviewed had used Charas (Cannabis) as the first substance in their lifetime
Reasons of Starting Drugs
Influence of friends or peer pressure
Social and family stresses
Sibling or other family member’s use of drugs
To heighten sexual pleasure
To overcome frustrations/tragedies
As pain medication
Drug Abuse Prevention
Following Projects are being run under supervision of DAPRC
Creating Mass Awareness Against Drug Abuse
Community Participation in Drug Demand Reduction
Model Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (MATRC)
Injecting Drug Users (IDU)