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Substance abuse has risen after COVID-19 pandemic: Study
March 13, 2023

(File Photo)

The number of drug addicts has risen in Peshawar since the advent of global pandemic of coronavirus in 2019.

According to Research Study, the covid-19 did not only push the countries to the economic turmoil, but it also impacted the businesses and individuals.

Due to the critical economic conditions, the factories fired their staff and as a result, a large number of people became unemployed.

Ahsan Ali (cover-up name), who is a resident of Peshawar, fell prey to the same downsizing policy of a local factory, where he used to work as a laborer.

The unemployment itself and the issue of finding another reasonable job to feed his family became a challenging task. Bowing to the stress, Ahsan Ali got depressed and turned to drugs as a way to escape the reality and became addicted in a short time.

His addiction not only ruined his own life, but it also affected lives of the dependent family members and shrank his social circle as well.

According to the 2021 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), between 2010 and 2019, there was a 22% increase in drug use worldwide, with an another 11% feared increase by 2030. While, as per the agency's 2022 report, during the outbreak of the corona virus epidemic, mental health factors, such as anxiety, uncertainty and stress, as well as disruption of treatment facilities due to lockdowns, also had impact on drugs usage.

Lubna, a female under-treatment addict at a private rehabilitation center in Peshawar, had been injectable drug-addict for the past eighteen years, while she was also using ice for the last one year. After taken to the rehabilitation center, Lubna was first detoxified and later her medical treatment and counseling was also done.

The real solution of this issue is the economic stability and providing a better lifestyle to the people, the responsibility of which lies with the administration and the government.

Likewise, complete prevention of the supply of drugs is of primary importance. In this regard, the Anti-Narcotics Force and other related agencies have seized huge amounts of drugs in various operations and the drug suppliers have also been arrested.

In addition, providing awareness at the community gathering levels for the drug menace, its harms and prevention can save many lives from getting trapped in this quagmire.