The drug epidemic in Pakistan is becoming more a problem than it ever was, as the number of drug users is on the rise in the country. Opium, cocaine, marijuana, hashish were already in common use, but now crystal meth, that is considered as one of the most harmful drugs in the world, is also becoming a common commodity for the drug addicts to use. The great danger that the Pakistani society confronts in regards to this issue is that the institutions that are responsible for curbing drug use in the country are failing in controlling the rise in drug addicts in the society. Police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) have all failed in their task to end drug use in the country.
According to the Police, the use of crystal meth is increasing in Lahore and Islamabad, and that the youth which was addicted to cocaine are now shifting to the more dangerous, crystal meth. It is said that crystal meth is the mother of all drugs. Crystal meth that is prepared with various chemicals, is detrimental for health. It is used mostly in dance parties in Lahore. However, now the situation has become more precarious as the hub of crystal meth users has shifted to educational institutions.
500 grams of pure crystal meth is being sold at a price of 5 thousand to 10 thousand rupees. The unique quality of this drug is that it does not have any odour, so it can be used anywhere, at anytime. It is mostly being smuggled to Pakistan from Afghanistan. As of now, there are many factories where crystal meth is being prepared.
While talking about meth, Dr Shahid said that the youth has shifted its intake of drugs, from cocaine to crystal meth which is more dangerous. Crystal meth has the ability to cause weight loss as well. Even the fake packets of crystal meth cost around 1 to 2 thousand rupees. However, impure crystal meth is more fatal and detrimental. According to a source, crystal meth is smuggled in large quantities from Afghanistan, Iran and China. The students that return from China are more prone to crystal meth. Crystal meth is prepared through salt and sugar mixed with other chemicals in an intricately designed experiment. After this procedure, crystal meth takes the shape of small cubes. Also, because it is of cubic shape, it is called ice.
Some addicts use injections for the intake of this drug. It is also consumed by smoking by filling up a cigarette with meth. It is also mixed in water or alcohol which was initially used as a rat poison in 1993, when German researchers first experimented it on rats. Afterwards, Germans started using it to protect themselves from extreme cold. German law enforcement agencies started crackdown of cocaine and after recovering a heavy amount burnt it.
In the 1960s it became famous in America as tablets. It was used by truck drivers, patrol officers and sportsmen to enhance their focus on their tasks. 1970s saw the invention of meth injections. In Afghanistan, American and NATO forces used it during war against the Soviet Russia. Nowadays, it is widely used by students and sex workers.
Social worker Rashid Butt, has said that in Pakistan heroine and hashish injections, samad bond, paint, spirit, inhaler drugs and oxygen shots were being used previously; however, meth has inflicted the final blow. Many among the youth due to unemployment and financial pressures resort to the intake of different drugs.
Law enforcement agencies and the government must come up with better policies to fight this menace. When Pakistan Today tried to contact regarding the issue, ANF spokesperson, Imran, he did not attend the call.