Number of drug addicts highest in KP



According to the statistics of the Directorate of Social Welfare department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11% people are using drugs in KP while in Punjab and Sindh they are about 6.5% of the population.

Despite decades old efforts by official and non-governmental organizations against drug addiction, number of drug addicts is increasing alarmingly in the provincial metropolis of Peshawar and other parts of the province.

An official of Directorate of Social Welfare department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told APP that their department was working in this regard since 2004.

He said that the number of drug addicted people was increasing due to presence of Afghan Refugees, poverty and unemployment.

Social Welfare department was working in five districts of KP including Peshawar, Kohat, Swat, Dir Lower and Dera Ismail Khan, adding they have rehabilitated 1250 drug addicts only in Peshawar.

He said that they have a detoxification centre in Peshawar with the capacity of only 30 beds and lack others facilities, adding that due to shortage of beds patients are let go after a 45-day or two-month treatment.

The official said that the directorate needs assistance of big hospitals and has held several meetings to discuss possible ways of coordination.

Committees including officials of police, anti-narcotics team, social workers, Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH), Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), Al-khidmat Foundation, Dost Foundation and Caritas foundation have been formed to treat the ever-increasing number of drug addicts, he said.

The sale of drugs is carried out in the open and even the children have access to it, he told APP, adding that Karkhana market was the main point in the city where all kinds of drugs are easily available.

Aizaz Khan, of Dost Welfare Foundation; a non government organization working on the issue since 1992, when contacted informed that currently they have 500 beds in four treatment and rehabilitation centres, two in Hayatabad while two in Shahi Bala, here at Peshawar.

Dost Foundation is committed to provide need- based and right- based services in drug demand reduction, Khan said while adding that patients from across the country are treated here.
He informed that that 24,764 drug addicts were provided residential, home-based treatment as well as treatment at rehabilitation centres.

About 35,403 community activists provided primary prevention services while 7,210 religious leaders and community elders sensitized and mobilized for drug demand reduction, added Khan.