National Drug Use Survey launched at provincial level: 2.9 million people estimated to have used drugs in Punjab in 2013
22 May 2014, Lahore - UNODC in collaboration with the Narcotics Control Division, Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control launched the first provincial level presentation of the National Drug Use Survey 2013 in Lahore. The national launch was held in Islamabad on 4 March this year.
The survey is the most extensive exercise ever conducted to map drug use in Pakistan and covers the four provinces, Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative UNODC gave a detailed presentation on the findings of the survey for Punjab province. Punjab is the most populous province in Pakistan. Based on a population estimate of 61.41 million persons aged 15-64, 4.7 per cent of this population, or 2.9 million people, were estimated to be using drugs across the province last year. Nationwide an estimated 6 per cent, or 6.7 million, of the population in Pakistan aged between 15 and 64 are estimated to have used drugs in the last 12 months. Punjab alone has 480,000 heroin users. Around 260,000 people are estimated to be injecting drugs in Punjab.
Mr. Guedes further stressed that the survey report aims to provide the basis for design and implementation of effective prevention, treatment and care services. Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor on Health expressed commitment of the Government of Punjab for eradicating drug use from the province.
The event was attended by around eighty participants including officials from the provincial health department, drug treatment centres staff, NGOs working on drugs prevention and journalists. Copies of the drug survey report along with the highlights were provided to the participants. The Provincial Advisor to Chief Minister on Health, Mr. Khawaja Salman Rafique graced the occasion as chief guest.
Report: Drug Use in Pakistan 2013