Press Release


Drugs - No - Never - Ever 

UNODC launched Drug Prevention Campaign in the Sindh Province

18 August 2015 - Karachi - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control and supported by Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)- Pakistan, US Department of State is implementing a drug prevention campaign in the nine cities of the Province of Sindh,  which include Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Badin,  Mirpur Khas,  Nawabshah, Jacobbad, and Khairpur 

The overall aim of this campaign is to raise public awareness on drugs and its harmful effects on individuals, families and society at large with a special focus on youth in the educational institutions, teachers, parents and religious leaders. 

The campaign is based on the results of the "Drug use in Pakistan 2013 Survey". According to the survey, it is estimated that six per cent of the population in Pakistan, or 6.7 million people, aged between 15 and 64 had used drugs in the year survey was conducted, of these, 4.25 million people are thought to be suffering from drug use disorders and drug dependence, reporting significant challenges controlling or reducing their use and experiencing negative personal consequences as a result of their drug use. 

The province of Sindh had the second highest prevalence rate for cannabis use in the country (4.3 per cent of the population using cannabis and an estimated 570,000 people in Sindh used opioids previous years. Of these, 66 per cent used prescription opioids (painkillers) and 34 per cent used heroin, opium or both. Almost 100,000 drug users in Sindh are estimated to be injecting drugs, primarily opiates. Prevalence estimate for the use of tranquilisers and sedatives in Sind is comparable with that of Punjab while the use of amphetamine-type stimulants is not as high as in other provinces.


Drug Prevention and Awareness Raising Activities

Key Focus: Enhance awareness against drug use among general population specially youth (both girls and boys aged 10-18 years.

Main Outcomes: Evidence based drug awareness campaign

Time Frame:  Five months 

Objective: To launch a sustained and effective drug awareness campaign in nine selected cities of Sindh province

The proposed activity for selected cities of Sindh province has been developed in close cooperation with the Government of Pakistan (GoP) to undertake effective drug awareness campaign  through billboards at strategic locations, awareness massages (in local language)  on FM radio and local TV stations. Community based activities in school and colleges and the establishment of hot line are also part of campaign. The activity forms an integral part of UNODC Country Programme's (CP) Sub-Programme 3 "Drug Demand Reduction and HIV/AIDS".

UNODC plans following activities for the successful implementation of this proposed campaign: 

  • -Pre and post intervention surveys, Focus group discussions , Radio Programmes  and TV Programmes

Knowledge enhancement tools:

The following tools will be used to enhance the knowledge of general public including parents, teachers, and religious scholars:

  • ⎯Billboards
  • ⎯Radio and TV programmes
  • ⎯SMS messages
  • ⎯Information material (T-shirts or caps and  sun screens or posters on rickshaws and taxis)
  • ⎯Telephone hotline
  • ⎯Promotional materials' display and distribution
  • ⎯Organisation of cricket matches and distribution of cricket uniforms and kits.

Mr. Ghalib Bandesha , Secretary Narcotics Control Division, Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control,  said in his speech "Preventing drug use before it begins is the most cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting safe and healthy communities, Young people deserve every opportunity to live up to their full potential, therefore exposure to effective drug prevention messages helps their chances".

Talking to media Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative UNODC, stated that "The widespread availability of drugs in Pakistan is making it easy for people especially youth to experiment and become dependent on drugs. The social and economic impacts of drug use on families, society and the country are enormous, which further increases the burden on health services related to drug treatment and treatment of drug associated diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV. There is need for continuous contribution by the key players, spreading the message on prevention of drug use and contribute to increasing knowledge and creating a positive change in the general attitudes and behaviours of the community. Thanking Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the US Department of State for supporting drug awareness campaign in Sindh province, he wished the host Government the very best in successful implementation of the campaign and for the betterment of the future of the country".  

While giving concluding remarks, H.E. Dr. Ishrat ul Ebad, Governor of Sindh said "Today's launch of drug awareness campaign in Sindh should be the first step in the direction of an ongoing intervention in drug prevention awareness and associated harms such as "Social, Psychological, Economical and Physical harms". He also ensured Govt of Sindh's full support to UNODC, INL Pakistan and NCD, Ministry of Narcotics Control in the implementation of campaign to be effective and a model to be replicated in other parts of the country".

This initiative is made possible with the financial support from the by Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)- Pakistan, US Department of State.

For further information kindly contact Rizwana Asad, Communications Officer via 0301-8564255 and/or