Drug abuse and smoking pose serious risks to human health and the social life of the community and
have significant economic and environmental costs.
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s 2020 World Drug Report, in 2018,
more than 35 million people suffered from the consequences of drug abuse. In fact, the number of drug
users worldwide is on the rise with cannabis being the most commonly used drug.1 Other commonly used
drugs include alcohol, methamphetamine, heroin, amphetamine-type stimulus (ATS), cocaine, ecstasy,
opium, poly drug (a combination of several drugs), pharmaceutical cocktails, tranquilizers and sedatives.
Factors contributing towards drug abuse include easy access to drugs at low prices, rapidly changing
social norms, existence and presence of drug dens and cartels, unemployment and economic distress,
lack of awareness on drug abuse within the family and in educational institutions, mental healthproblems
(such as anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, grief, low self-esteem, frustration, rejection etc.), curiosity/urge
to experiment, influence of media portrayals, peer pressure, lack of support by parents, the family and
the community. To address the problem, the Federal Government has passed various laws including the
Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997 and the Drugs Act, 1976, which proscribes the possession and
distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol with penalties for violations provided in the Code of Criminal
Procedure up to and including capital punishment.
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