Punjab Needs Drug Education Classes

by: Mike Miller

For those of you who read my blog regularly you know I have focused a lot of time and energy on drug problems around the world as well as here in the United States of America. One place I have paid particular attention to is India.

Like many places on the planet, the Indian state of Punjab is in the grip of a drug abuse crisis. Just how bad is the problem? Surveys indicate that more than half of all rural households are home to at least one drug addict, a problem most severe along the Pakistan border. As reported in www.dw.de.

Drug abuse is not new but matters have been getting worse in recent months as almost a whole generation of young people is being lost to a menace that has literally shattered the physical and mental health of Punjab's youth.

The types of drugs are many. The availability is simple. From heroin and opium to barbiturates, cough syrup and alcohol, there has been an alarming rise in the number of teens addicted to drugs, which are freely available.

One survey by the state's department of Social Security Development of Women and Children late last year suggested that as many as 67 percent of rural households in Punjab had at least one drug addict in the family. Worse, there is at least one death due to drug overdose each week in the region.

It also revealed that most drug addicts belong to the 16-to-35 age group, indicating the high vulnerability of young people in the border belt.

The problem may be even worse. According to some reports, up to 70 percent of Punjab's youth is addicted to drugs Heroin is the drug that is causing most concern in the region. Having Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of heroin, right next door is definitely part of the problem.

The problem already is spiraling out of control. Authorities need to get a handle on it through drug classes and stricter enforcement of the border. What do you think?