ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI - In the recent times, drug addiction in the twin cities has assumed menacing proportions with youth increasingly found to be getting involved in more and more acts of burglary in order to meet their needs for drugs and other substances.
Drug addiction in youths from well-off families is on the rise and later these addicts resort to thefts and robberies to get cash for buying drugs.
More interesting are the appearances of these burglars. In no way they look like robbers. These young burglars have managed to set themselves apart by shunning the typical stereotypical looks of thieves. They can be seen wearing highly fashionable branded clothes.
Experts believe that youngsters, despite already having money and possessions choose drug addiction as a way of life. Moreover, many believe that the drug addicts adopt the habit of stealing from their own homes to buy a dose. Young college going drug addicts often ask for extra money from their parents on the excuse of tuition fees and pocket money.
Burglary incidents are on the rise in the twin cities as often mobile phones, laptops and other precious accessories are found missing in boys’ hostels and houses rented out by bachelor males. These are alarming events. It is a devil that haunts the urban elite education centres and call centres where youngsters are vulnerable while rich parents have no time for their children.
A decade back, hash and heroin was deemed to be a poor man’s refuge due to the prohibitive cost of imported liquor. However, the trends are now changing. Hash, heroin, amphetamines, hallucinogens, ecstasy and Ketamine compounds have proliferated in the urban elites of Pakistan. The route of entry is invariably private education institutions and BPOs operating night shift of youngsters, who attend school or college at day. Invariably, it always begins with efforts to keep awake and ends in tragedy. Outside the premises of these institutions, peddlers and criminals operate with impunity to befriend new customers.
Rave parties, dancing events and attractive satanic captions splash pages on the social media. Sheesha centres in urban malls and posh localities located in farm houses are the high points of the nouveaux riches addicts where ecstasy, syringes and crack are a token of status. Once hooked there is no return.
Pakistan’s drug statistics are shocking. According to one report, over eight million Pakistanis are using drugs. The number is likely to touch 15 million in the next few years. Over 57 percent amongst these use heroin. According to another report amongst the women, 47 percent are college or university students. Nearly half of all urban addicts are school/college going students studying in private institutions and live in posh upcoming housings.
According to DG Narcotics, private educational institutions are more vulnerable than the government educational institutions to attract the students towards drug addiction, mainly because the elites can spend more.
He also opined that addiction rate was proportional to tuition rates, where both parents were working and where parents don’t have enough time for their children. The drug of choice for the rich urban elites is not heroin but crack, a derivative of cocaine traded in dollars and euros.
Private education institutions from schools to universities have failed to check this rising menace within and outside their bounds. Most hostels of boys and girls also have dens from where this trade is run. In hostels, students experiment with chemicals to manufacture stimulants and hallucinogens in which Ephedrine and Ketamine are the basic drugs of choice. Recently, a hostel in Islamabad was found to be both a drug and prostitution den. In street corners, Garda, a lethal mix of tobacco, charas and stimulants in readymade cigarette rolls is available to anyone across the counters; usually the high school students. In Pakistan’s urban centres, no one seems willing to take on the challenge.
Nobody cares to inspect the hostel premises or why students have dropped semesters. Tutorial and social care groups are nonexistent. Visiting faculties consider having their hands washed of all responsibility and accountability. Cases instead of being reported to police and ANF are hushed up by disciplinary committees. There is a total absence of any dissuasive or punitive policy.