Are you aware that drug testing for school students will soon become mandatory in some provinces? It’s one of the efforts aimed at curbing the rate of drug abuse and addiction in the country. A journal published in October 2018, reports that there are about 8.9 million drug users in Pakistan. The most frequent drugs used being cannabis, opiates, heroin and painkillers.
Because of the country’s nearness to Afghanistan (which distributes 75% of the world’s heroin) access to the drug is easier and cheaper in Pakistan.
Other factors that have contributed the high rate of drug use among students include:
Another negative effect of drug abuse is the spread of HIV through the sharing of syringes – a common practice among most users.
The use of crystal meth (ice) and other drugs in schools and leading universities has increased and this has become a source of concern to education authorities. Hence these tests are therefore are introduced out of the need to protect young people.
Punjab is the province with the most number of drug users in the country. Determined to tackle the menace, the Province is making drug tests compulsory for students in all its public and private schools. The Punjab government is working with both the health department and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) to carry out these tests. According to Punjab Minister for School Education, the government will cancel the registration of schools that do not carry out the new directive.
The Sindh province is also hoping to stem the negative wave of drug use, by insisting that school students be tested. The province is working on a law that will make drug tests mandatory before admission into public and private schools.