Collective advance approach to winning the war on drug addiction

Peshawar-Lying unconscious by the railway tracks or staggering through the dimly lit alleyways of the city’s interior, drug addicts are seen as a constant threat to passers-by, while their plight and sometimes frightening scruffy appearance also reflect the civil society apathy.

Unconcerned about their future and their families, dozens of drug addicts can be seen lying mostly unconscious near the Faqirabad railway line, under the flyover of Gul Bahar on GT Road, Peshawar Central Jail Bridge, Market of Tehkal and Karkhano after being apparently abandoned by society due to socio-economic imbalances and national problems.

Alarmed by the growing number of drug addicts, the provincial government and various agencies waged a war on drug addiction to rehabilitate its victims and educate people about the dangers of social evil.

But it is encouraging and promising that the provincial authorities and welfare agencies are not oblivious to the situation and are working tirelessly to improve drug addicts and give them the opportunity to adapt and become a part respectable in society.

“The War on Drugs is not just about rehabilitating drug addicts, but must be taken in a broad perspective to give them hope and plenty of chances to earn a respectable living and become a useful part of society” , said Syed Ali Naqi, deputy director of the Dost Welfare Foundation. while talking to APP.

“A multi-pronged strategy is needed to eliminate drug addiction from society and eliminate the likelihood that victims may return to addiction after rehabilitation.”

Drug rehabilitation mainly consists of four phases including detoxification, primary rehabilitation, skills development and a follow-up counseling program, he said, adding that his organization was also working on a family counseling program to provide advice on causes, rehabilitation and post-treatment care. of drug addicts.

He said the foundation has the capacity to treat 300 to 400 drug addicts with a separate space for women and children. After witnessing an increase in drug abuse, he said, drug treatment centers were set up in Shahi Bala, University Town, Tehkal and Main Building Hayatabad.

“Severing the drug supply chain and eliminating the free availability of contraband in society is necessary to win the war on drug addiction and our efforts would be in vain if these factors are not addressed as a priority,” he said. he declared.

He underscored the need to develop liaison between government authorities, law enforcement and stakeholders to win the war on drug addiction.

“First I started smoking cigarettes and later hashish in deep depression after my family abandoned me following my unsuccessful marriage and unemployment,” said drug addict and Pabbi resident Sajid Khan. , during a conversation with APP.

Sajid, who now lives with his married sister, was struggling to return to a normal life, but he lost self-respect and prestige due to indulgence in the social evil of drug addiction. He said most drug addicts are teased by young people and sometimes children mainly because of their looks and begging becomes their habit for buying narcotics.

“Relapse is a major problem that emanates from society’s indifference and disheartening attitude towards rehabilitated drug addicts, who often face contempt from the people living around them,” said psychiatrist Professor Khalid Mufti renowned who runs the Ibadat hospital for the treatment of drug addicts. in Nishtarabad Peshawar as he spoke to the news agency.

“Our efforts to win the war on drug addiction would be useless unless psychological assistance is provided to its victims and society is made aware of the rights of drug addicts.”

He said accepting rehabilitated people as part of society is one factor that could give addicts hope to live and survive with dignity. “The rehabilitation of drug addicts would be an insurmountable task if they did not have the chance, the hope, the support and the respect to overcome their haunting past.”

Dr Khalid Mufti suggested community mobilization and changing the mindset of people to support drug addicts, saying it would give them the confidence to have social support and the courage to survive.

Riaz Khan Mehsud, Peshawar Commissioner, said a “Drug Free Peshawar Campaign” has been launched to rid the city of drugs and make drug addicts useful members of society. As part of the campaign, he said, drug addicts including women were transferred to rehabilitation centers while chronic drug addicts with health problems were transferred to Islamabad for treatment. .

Detox and rehabilitation centers in 12 districts including Swabi, Peshawar, DI Khan, Karak, Kohat, Malakand, Mardan, Charsadda, Swat, Nowsehra and Dir Lower have been set up to help drug addicts.

The commissioner said directives to relevant authorities have been issued to hold meetings with relevant social organizations, industrialists and departments to provide vocational training to all rehabilitated drug addicts.

The KP government has also passed the Narcotic Substances Control Bill 2019, which clearly defines narcotic substances and outlines the penalties for possessing and dealing in narcotics in addition to eliminating ICE drugs.

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