KARACHI: The members of the Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter in an online meeting held yesterday expressed deep concern over the increase in use of narcotics among youth and demanded the government to strictly curb the availability of narcotics in society, says a Press release.
The meeting on the theme ‘Increasing trend of narcotics – who is responsible?’ was presided over by Justice (Retd) Haziq-ul-Khairi, who attended the meeting from Hamdard Corporate Head Office. Mrs. Sadia Rashid – President Hamdard Foundation Pakistan also attended the meeting via zoom.
In an opening remark, Justice (Retd) Haziq-ul-Khairi said: “The increase in the use of narcotics, especially among the youth, is an alarming issue that should be addressed on priority. Millions of students have fallen victim to this terrible addiction, but unfortunately, there is a lack of practical approach and a clear absence of effective strategy of authorities to curb it. There is a shortage of hospitals in the country where this addiction is treated. Some private hospitals exist but their treatment is very expensive. The question is why our new generation is suffering from this evil and what can be done about it?”
Dr. Rizwana Ansari said that narcotics were sold openly and it was not possible without the collaboration of a few officers of law enforcement in this heinous business. “Social behavior needs to change. The uses of many narcotic substances such as Pan, Chhaliya, Gutka and Sheesha are not considered bad, despite the fact that due to their use, the number of mouth and jaw cancer patients in the country has increased alarmingly high in recent times. Stress and depression are the major causes of drug use among students,” she said.
Zafar Iqbal said that everyone including the state, teachers, and parents had a shared responsibility to educate children about the adverse effects of narcotics. “People from all walks of life are involved in drug trafficking and they also use children to sell narcotics. There is an urgent need to dismantle this entire network,” he added.
Dr. Tanveer Khalid said: “Treatment of drug addicts is possible at an early stage. Therefore, in educational institutions, students should undergo regular medical tests to find out whether they use any narcotics or not. There is a need to promote healthy activities, including sports, in the school, college, and university calendars to improve the overall health of the youth. The media channels should host live competitions based on various activities including poetry and speeches in order to involve youth in positive activities.”
Col (Retd) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt said: “As long as availability is not severely curtailed, people will continue to get tempted by it. Children who use narcotics have visible symptoms on their bodies. Therefore, there should be an awareness campaign in the media to make parents aware of these signs. Moreover, there should be a strict punishment of those who are involved in this criminal activity.”
Anwar Aziz Jakartawala said: “Drug addiction often starts from the use of general items which are not considered harmful in the society such as cigarettes, betel, etc. The use of these items should also be discouraged. Drug addiction has some level of general acceptance in both high and lower-income households.
A separate federal ministry should be formed to ensure crackdown on availability of narcotics.”
Engr. Anwar Siddiqui said: “Every school should be required to have a psychologist to monitor the mental health of the children. Famous schools do not bring such cases to the public for fear of public backlash.”
Commodore (Retd) Sadid Anwar Malik said: “Strict action must be taken against all those involved so that others may learn a lesson.”
Musarat Akram said: “The hike in the use of narcotics in schools is our social failure. This is no longer the work of a single individual. Now, this issue needs to be taken seriously at the government level.