Thursday June 13, 2024

Ice drug abuse rises despite actions by police

By Javed Aziz Khan
September 18, 2023

PESHAWAR: The use of ice - methamphetamine — has become a serious threat to the law and order situation across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a large number of criminals are now committing violent crimes allegedly under the influence of this synthetic drug.

Though police claim arresting hundreds of the ice dealers, manufacturers and sellers every month, yet despite these actions the use of ice or crystal meth is increasing, particularly among the youth and students, even in females.

There are reports that several gangs operate in the vicinity of hostels, universities and colleges, targeting the youth.

In a number of incidents of murder, attempted-murder, robberies, theft, snatching, sexual abuse and other crimes, the accused were found to be regularly consuming ice. The drug is used in the form of powder, pills and other shapes.

Even on Saturday, a group of street criminals was busted in Regi which used to commit crimes to arrange money to buy ice. Several gangs and individuals arrested in all the six divisions of Peshawar in the last several months were found to be ice addicts.

“Some of them even killed their parents, siblings, and other relatives under the influence of ice. Besides, in many incidents of snatching and robberies, the ice addicts opened fire even without any provocation to kill or injure the victim,” claimed a cop. There are reports that the drug is also consumed by the well-off people during parties hosted in rented houses, basements and farm houses.

A number of major gangs involved in the business of ice and heroin have been allegedly operating in Peshawar and elsewhere in KP for years. They smuggle the drugs anywhere in cities, villages and suburban towns.

The easy availability of ice has resulted in an increase in the number of addicts, including youth and even teenagers. Young boys and even women under the influence of drugs were seen in videos which went viral multiple times.

A large number of addicts can be seen on footpaths and roadside just opposite Karkhano, Hayatabad, Faqirabad, GT Road, Kohat Road, Ring Road and other areas.

The KP Police and other departments have claimed carrying out frequent operations against the drug dealers almost on a daily basis but that failed to stop the increasing use of narcotics.

Apart from the police, the Excise and other forces are operating as well but they could hardly make any difference as availability of ice in Peshawar and other districts is extremely easy.

The drug is said to be more harmful for the human body than heroin and other narcotics. Experts believe that a dose of ice may trigger more than 1,200 units of dopamine which is 600 per cent higher than what the body can do on its own.

Continuous use of ice harms different organs and shortens life by several years. It can be easily manufactured and consumed orally, through injections or inhaled.

The experts believe that unlike any other drug, the effect of ice lasts up to 24 hours. One dose of ice is 3.5 times more intense and harmful than cocaine.

The Peshawar Police recently claimed to have launched a drive against the mafias involved in drugs, especially ice.

Senior Superintendent of Police Operations Kashif Aftab Abbasi told reporters that police had been tasked to carry out operations within their own areas against the mafias involved in business of ice and other drugs.

Special teams have been currently constituted in all the divisions under their respective SPs, to go after the smugglers and dealers of ice and heroin. The other day a factory was busted and 58 KGs of ice was recovered from there.

Besides, awareness is being created among the masses against the use of this drug by involving elected members, religious scholars, teachers, universities, colleges and people from all walks of life.

A ‘Ice Free Peshawar’ drive was also launched a few years ago after the increase in the users and sellers of the drug 0across the provincial capital. The narcotics eradication teams were formed as well a couple of years back to go after the mafias all over KP. However, the menace is yet to be eradicated.