|Awareness Against Drug Abuse||
|Date of Issue (April 21, 2003)||
saga of Pakistan's difficult journey through the quagmire of narcotics
proliferation began with the emergence of its first heroin addict in 1979.
Being a developing country with a small economic base, the gauntlet thrown
by the drug problem with international dimensions, stacked all the cards
against Pakistan, except one: the will-power and resilience of the people
not to roll-over and die. From this point onwards there was no looking
back for us in Pakistan.
production of opium in 1980 had reached its peak of 800 metric tons over
an area of 32,200 hectares. The robust counter drug measures taken by
the ANF and other law enforcement agencies in Pakistan has successfully
eradicated poppy cultivation in Pakistan, which has been declared as Opium
Poppy-Free by the UNDCP in 2000-2001. As a Chinese saying goes that Journey
of a hundred miles begins with the first step', our journey also began
with the first step.
Pakistan's first operational counter-narcotics out-fit, the Pakistan Narcotics
Control Board (PNCB) was created in 1973 with a strength of 833 personnel.
In 1991, a second agency, the Anti-Narcotics Task Force was created to
supplement the PNCB, both of which were later merged in 1995 to form the
present day Anti Narcotics Force (ANF).
in view the alarming situation the Government of Pakistan has approved
a Master Plan at a total cost of Rs. 2.832 billion with objectives to
make the country drug free by reducing the demand of illicit drugs, providing
treatment and rehabilitation to drug addicts, controlling supply and production
of narcotics substances, curbing smuggling and trafficking of narcotics
substances. Out of the total outlay of Rs. 2.832 billion, an amount of
Rs. 1.072 billion has been allocated for the demand reduction preventive
component and treatment and rehabilitation health components.
In order to implement the Master Plan, the Government of Pakistan (ANF) is working on the following projects/schemes which are being implemented with the GOP funds, which are sanctioned under the budgetary head of 'Health'.
order to create awareness the ANF, utilizes various tools, for instance
publicity through electronic as well as press media. Under the developmental
schemes the following activities/programmes have been undertaken across
EYE VIEW OF ANF'S DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION STRATEGIES
As part of a comprehensive prevention programme, information about the physiological, social and legal consequences of drug abuse can provide the basis for sound decisions. In order to be effective, an information programme must be proactive, provide opportunities for discussion and take into account the other sources of information (and misinformation) which are available. These include the media, personal experience and word of mouth. Some examples of providing information about heroin and other drugs which have been designed and implemented by ANF are:-
material like brochures, booklets, leaflets, posters, stickers.
In order to develop social competencies which enable an individual to function effectively in society, activities focusing on helping a person to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, interpersonal skills, clear and purposeful goals and values, self-control and the ability to build and maintain healthy peer relationships have been implemented.
Promoting healthier alternatives is based on the premise that people use drugs to meet a variety of social, emotional and physiological needs. Their needs are legitimate and therefore can be met in other ways which will both serve the individual and be acceptable to all concerned. In order to be effective, an alternative must be interesting enough for the target group and should be seen by it as better than drug use and offer the individuals a chance to learn life coping skills. For example, team sports can both fulfill the need for developing a sense of togetherness and personal achievement. Sports serve as the means for learning to deal with failures in a positive manner. A football or hockey tournament can offer opportunities for excitement and self-discovery as well as a practical lesson in cooperation, teamwork and clear communication in a fluid environment. Other alternatives can be any number of indoor and out door sports activities, like organizing tournaments for players as well as the match-viewers, establishing libraries for readers, skill development centres for those who want to use their energies in positive manners, entertainment outlets for those who want to avoid boredom and tiredness.
in the form of laws and statutes is equally important in controlling the
availability of drugs in a community. While the above two strategies are
primarily concerned with the individual, reducing the likelihood of drug
abuse problems by enhancing the level of personal functioning, public
policy has to address all five elements within its prevention strategy
which targets all vulnerable sections of the society. Public policy, in
turn is influenced by the society itself through letters and lobbying
by stake- holders.
of drug abuse requires a coordinated, multifaceted approach, one that
strengthens families from varying ethnic, and socioeconomic circumstances,
and rewards youth of all ages for a drug-free life style. As there is
no single strategy or programme which in isolation can consistently and
clearly communicate the message against drugs, the ANF has carefully selected
the most appropriate mix of medias to reach each of the target groups
keeping the demographic and socioeconomic indicators in view.