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Methamphetamine addiction growing among youth in Pakistan: Report

June 12, 2024 07:58 AM

Islamabad : In Pakistan, the use of the narcotics drug methamphetamine, also known as 'ice' or 'crystal meth', has been on the rise in recent years, which can lead to a devastating effect on the country's youngsters, reported ARY News.


Notably, methamphetamine is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug that exhibits powerful euphoric effects similar to those of cocaine and has life-threatening consequences


The usage of 'crystal meth' in Pakistan has been particularly prevalent among the younger generation. The drug is often seen as a party drug that can enhance energy, alertness, and confidence, making it appealing to young people looking for a quick high, reported ARY News.


The ease of access to 'ice', as well as its relatively low cost compared to other drugs, has contributed to its popularity among young Pakistanis, the report said.


'Ice' users may encounter physical health concerns like tooth decay, loss of weight, blisters on the skin, and a higher chance of heart attack or stroke. Additionally, the drug may have serious negative consequences for mental health, including psychosis, hallucinations, aggressiveness, and paranoia, the report said.


The current number of Pakistanis addicted to 'meth' is unknown, as the most recent comprehensive report on drug use in Pakistan was published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2013.


According to that report, approximately 6 per cent of the population, equivalent to around 7 million individuals, were struggling with drug addiction. Notably, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had the highest rate of drug use, with nearly 11% of its population using illicit substances, ARY News reported. Methamphetamine use in Pakistan has far-reaching consequences beyond individual users.


The drug trade has led to a surge in criminal activity, exacerbating community insecurity. Moreover, families of those struggling with addiction often face financial hardship and emotional distress, while the healthcare system is strained by the growing need for addiction treatment and support services, the report said.


In addition, the increasing demand for addiction treatment and support services places a burden on the healthcare system and causes financial and emotional suffering for the families of those who are battling with addiction, it said.

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