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Study denies high incidence of drug use in institutions


May 23, 2019

Islamabad : A study done by a senior Quaid-i-Azam University teacher has rejected the claims about the high incidence of drug use in educational institutions and insisted that only over 3.5 per cent students were found to be junkies.

“Our study doesn't subscribe to the claims about astronomical drug use in our educational institutions. In contrast to the exaggerated figure of 44-53% on-campus drug addicts, it found only 3.7 per cent students to be daily drug consumers, whereas the ratio of students’ ever intake of drugs was 10.3 per cent. The role of peer was found to be a significant contributory factor of the youths' exposure to drugs as 62.9 % of the respondents revealed that they were introduced to drugs by friends. On the whole, majority of the survey respondents (80.4 per cent) have never consumed drugs,” Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology of the Quaid-i-Azam University Dr Imran Sabir told an interactive session here.

However, Dr Imran, the principal investigator of the research project about the 'On Campus Drug Abuse in Metropolitan Cities of Pakistan', said those statistics shouldn’t be considered to belittle the issue. “Disregarding even this rate of prevalence may yield harmful repercussions,” he said proposing a three-dimensional strategy to cater the issue with a focus on legislation, anti-narcotics force, and educational institutions.

The researcher said legislation should be made exclusively on the prevention of drugs in educational institutions and to be enforced in all provinces including a compulsory drug test of students.

He also said there was a need to devise regulation for media content as most youths got motivated by the glamorised portrayal of delinquent behaviours in media, as smoking and drugs had been a permanent feature of media projects.

Senator Lieutenant General (r) Abdul Qayyum, who was the chief guest on the occasion, called for engaging youths in drug preventive measures.

“Pakistan is worst hit by drug abuse in South Asian region, so collective efforts are required as a community to deal with it,” he said.

QAU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali highlighted the role of the teachers in sensitizing students regarding the consequences of drug use.

Force commander of the Anti-Narcotics Force Brigadier Syed Mubbashir Hasan Kazmi highlighted the role of his organisation in handling the issue of drug abuse.

He said in 2018, 17,000 cases related to narcotics were registered and 70,000-80,000 criminals involved in drug-related crimes were arrested.

Brigadier Mubbashir, however, said there was still a need for enhancing the capabilities of ANF. Also in attendance were Deputy Secretary of the Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics Zarghoona Shabbir, representative of the Higher Education Commission Dr. Fateh Muhammad Marri and Dean of the QAU Faculty of Social Sciences Dr. Wiqar Ali Shah.