"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
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User Name: Shoaib1
Full Name: Shoaib Habib Memon
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10 Million Drug Abusers generate $4 billion from drug trafficking in Pakistan


By Shoaib Habib Memon


A UN report said "the global drug trade generated an estimated US$321.6 billion in 2003." With a World GDP of US$36 trillion in the same year, the illegal drug trade may be estimated as slightly less than 1% (0.893%) of total global commerce.Consumption of illegal drugs is widespread globally.


Pakistan is geographically vulnerable to drug trafficking, sharing a 2,430km-long, porous border with Afghanistan, the world's largest producer of illicit opium. Pakistan itself has over 1,000 hectares of poppy cultivation, concentrated in the restive Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan.  Cannabis is also produced in large quantities in the sub-region. Most of the cannabis trafficked in the region also originates from Afghanistan, and is processed in the inaccessible areas of Pakistan's FATA region.


According to statistics, approximately 0.6 million people are joining club of drug users every year in Pakistan. By 2011, total drug users in the country reached 9.6 million, and In 2012 have reached 10 million of which 1.5 million use opium, 750,000 are heroin addicts and 200,000 are drug-injecting users. The sale and consumption of heroin, hashish and garda is increasing with every passing day and is going unchecked even in the federal capital.


One of every ten students at college or university level is drug addict. In one prominent private university of Karachi, 20 out of 30 (66%) students were using charas. Over 40,000 street children are involved in solvent substance abuse in four major cities of the country. An estimated 40% of Pakistan’s prison population use drugs,


The ramifications of drug processing and trafficking are felt globally. UNODC estimates that Pakistan is now the destination and transit country for approximately 40% of the opiates produced in Afghanistan. Most processing takes place in small, mobile laboratories in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas although increasing instances of processing on the Afghan border with the Central Asian Republics have been reported. The sub region itself has become a major consumer market for opiates. Opiate processing on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border have created a trafficking and, importantly in the case of Pakistan, a drug abuse problem since the early 1980s.


Drug abuse and addiction problems are often exacerbated along trafficking routes. Heroin users in Pakistan are estimated to consume 20 tons of pure heroin annually. Although drug use in Pakistan is a known - and likely increasing - problem, credible research into use and the distribution of drug users is lacking. The last assessment, conducted in 2006, has serious flaws and almost certainly underestimated the problem. It is difficult to gauge accurately the impact of drug trafficking upon drug use with the existing body of research.


Pakistan falls under the Golden Crescentwhich is one of the two major illicit opium producing centres in Asia Opium poppycultivation in Pakistan is estimated to be 800 hectares in 2005 yielding a potential production of 4 metric tons of heroin. Opium is cultivated primarily in the North-West Frontier Provinceand Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Until the late 1970s, opium production levels were relatively static; it increased after 1979.


Since the beginning of the 1980s, drug trafficking is flourishing in Pakistan. Opium production in Pakistan increased in part due to the "Taliban Effect"(the increasingly conservative views towards both the freedom of women and religion) in Afghanistan. One of the results was the influence on Afghan women to move their families to Pakistan. Once in Pakistan, they were more able to take on important economic roles such as poppy cultivation.Pakistan is a key transit point for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Western countries, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Africa.An estimated $4 billion is generated from drug trafficking in Pakistan


Drug abuse is rapidly growing in Pakistan, especially among youth including those in colleges and universities, resulting in serious social and health implications while almost five per cent of the adult population has already been addicted to drugs across the country keeping Pakistan at the top of the list among the countries which are affected by this scourge


Drug abuse causes economic breakdown of a family, loss of self-confidence and will to work, loss of job, indulgence in crimes such as theft, and suicidal thoughts. “Drug addicts are also more prone to accidents and are at higher risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B & C, and tuberculosis, suicide, overdose deaths and cardiovascular diseases. Married drug addicts have high probability of having mentally retarded and physically handicapped children. Young people who use cannabis are doubling their risk of psychotic symptoms like schizophrenia, hallucinations, hearing voices etc.


Souce: Figures collected by UNODC

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