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   August 26, 2012


In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty

Rising trends of Drug Abuse in Chitral

Chitralis are considered one of the most resilient and vibrant nations of the world. They have the capacity and potential to fight the most difficult situations whether it is social, political, psychological or physical. This unique feature of the nation helps them to remain healthy and have a greater life span compared to other parts of the world. Thanks to almighty Allah for gifting us with a land free of pollution and blessing us with fresh water and food. These have greater contribution towards keeping the people healthy. However the most important secret behind this healthy Chitrali society used to be abstinence from drugs. It is heartrending to say that we are gradually losing our resilience in terms of drug abuse. Use of cigarettes, alcohol, opium and many other narcotic substances is prevailing all around. The darkest site of the scenario is that our younger generation is the most affected group. Group of youngsters can be easily seen around sitting together with multiple drugs without realizing the catastrophic effects and the end results of these.

There could be multiple causes of this epidemic; however it is worth to mention those highly significant. I strongly believe that easy access to drugs is the primary cause of substance abuse. Drugs of all kinds can be easily purchased from local market without any fear. Law enforcing agencies have failed to control the production, supply and marketing of these materials. There is no check and balance system in the whole region and at times police and other authorities donít take strict actions against those involved in this business. Second cause is peer pressure among youth. Friend circle has great role in initiation and continuation of drug abuse especially in the young age groups. The youngsters start using drugs because of the pressure of the friends and become addicted and the vicious cycle continues. Unemployment comes third in the list. It is thought that people without job have the higher tendency of using drugs compared to those who are employed. Although there is no direct relationship between the two, however being free and enough leisure time seems to be the key factor and they use this time in drug use. At times drugs especially smoking have become a fashion. Many people use drugs as a medium to get relaxed from worldly problems. They strongly believe that drugs are the only choice to fight against stresses of daily life, which is not true. Finally, media is portraying models using different drugs and our young generation become impressed from these and starts using drugs.

It is important to mention that these drugs have disastrous effects on individuals, families and communities at large. Smoking is strongly associated with cancer of the respiratory tract, oral cavity and cardiovascular disease. Use of cigarette increases the risk of cerebrovascular accidents (stroke), hypertension and myocardial infarction (heart attack) to several folds. Studies in the developed parts of the world have shown that cigarette has more than 40 cancer causing agents and it has the potential to affect even a fetus in womb. Use of opium can lead to many mental illnesses. Alcohol causes liver cancer, immunodeficiency and nutritional imbalances. Also drug abusers are associated with many social evils and street crimes. The list of affects of drug abuse is very large and what have mentioned are just few of these.

It is well said that prevention is better than cure. Therefore parents, media, NGOs and our national and religious leadership have important roles and responsibilities in this regard. Parents need to provide an environment free of drugs to their children and need to monitor very closely that what their children are doing in school and social gatherings. Media has to portray the negative aspects of drug abuse and avoid programs encouraging drug abuse. NGOs along with national leaders can arrange different programs and schools and other social gatherings regarding smoking cessation and disadvantages of drug abuse. Those already indulges in substance abuse need to be encouraged to quit and need to consult specialists in the field to help them come out of the problem. The role of religious leaders is also very important. They can convey the message in light of Quran and Hadith regarding the use of drugs in Islam. It is a disheartened situation, in which our young generation is heavily indulged in drugs, however I am still optimistic that with great commitment and determination we can come out of this and I am looking forward for a drug free Chitral.

Abdul Qayum
Kabul, Afghanistan


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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