By Anahita Qazi.
It is quite interesting how certain aspects of a society can be kept hidden just because of factors such as religion, taboos, cultural norms and traditions. Widespread activities while being very much active somehow find a shelter under these restrictions and what seems to be an obstruction for the activity becomes its biggest ally. In a society such as Pakistan, alcohol and consumption of other drugs isn’t a part of the culture. On the other hand it is still common and has become a part of our society. There is no single age group which is more affected by drug consumption than young people. Alcohol and drugs affect each and everyone of us – directly or indirectly, in our homes, schools, towns and cities. People of all ages in Pakistan, including teenagers and adults have easy access to it. The consumption has become a part of their daily lives. More than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other harmful drugs. The number is only to increase with the increasing influence of Western and Indian culture in our society.
The question is, why? Even though the commonly followed religion of Pakistan, Islam doesn’t allow to consume alcohol, still for a number of reasons Pakistani population is addicted to it.
Firstly, it has become a trend to follow western cultures and norms. People, especially young adults and teenagers think it’s pretty cool if they’ll drink and smoke just to fit in the westernisation phase that we’re going through. It has become something that everyone does quite excitedly without even thinking it bearing in mind the results. They want to be accepted and think that it will portray a social class and standard if they would adopt western cultures.
Secondly, it’s a way to escape away from reality. This point is linked with the discussion above as young people of this century tend to overthink situations and create problems for themselves which don’t even exist. They excessively stress themselves and in order to overcome these upsetting thoughts, they indulge in alcohol and other drug consumption, which in actual has been practiced by the celebrities that they are now so much influenced by.
Besides these majorly observed reasons, curiosity, urge for pleasure, lack of self confidence, negligence from parents and stressful experiences are all major causes behind alcohol or drug consumption.
Today, Pakistan is one of the major importers of drug and tends to be the net exporter of heroin.
Drug consumption is a very serious problem. Leading figures such as parents of the families and the government need to take active measures to discourage the consumption in order to save our youth from spoiling their future. To do so firstly social stigmas and taboos associated to drug consumption should be lifted so that people can come to now the notorious effects of drug consumptions. People, friends and families need to share and listen to each others problems so that there is no urge for drugs. Lastly with the help of awareness campaigns people can be informed not about the dangerous effects of drugs on our health but also how stay safe and not fall in a trap.
Anahita Qazi is student of Business Administration at Institute Of Business Management, Karachi.