Punjab plans to tackle youth drug addiction – Pakistan


LAHORE: In a bid to protect youngsters from drug addiction and engage them in healthy activities, the Punjab government is ready to launch a campaign titled ‘Save a Life’ in Lahore by March 15.

Currently, the design, advocacy and training phase of the campaign is underway and will conclude by March 10.

“Originally the campaign was called ‘Whistle Blower’ but we recently changed it to ‘Save a Life’ as it legally conflicted with the name of the Whistle Blower Protection and Vigilance Commission Act, 2019”, chief executive of the department of social protection Mudassir Riaz Malik Told Dawn on Sunday.

“The Save a Life campaign will initially be for Lahore but it will be extended to other districts in Punjab later,” he said, adding that the department will complete the design, advocacy and training phase before the end of the campaign. March 10 so you can launch it locally by March 15.

The campaign is expected to launch by March 15

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Baitul Mal, substance use among adolescents is wreaking havoc on the nation in both direct and indirect ways. He says drug use can lead to diminished economic opportunity, incarceration, addiction and death. The total societal cost of these results is staggering. Young children now have easier access to drugs than before, and more of them report knowing people who use illicit drugs.

Young people’s vulnerability to drug initiation is heightened during transition periods, such as the transition from elementary school to middle school, and the transition from middle school to high school, and in certain situations, such as when large amounts time is spent in environments not supervised by a responsible adult.

“Transitions are accompanied by significant developmental and environmental changes that test an adolescent’s intellectual, social and emotional coping skills. Most of the leading causes of death for this age group – traffic accidents, homicides, injuries and suicides – are more likely to occur when under the influence of psychoactive substances. Drug use by adolescents accelerates their transition to adulthood, but does not provide them with the opportunity to acquire the skills and capacities necessary for a successful transition.

“At the very least, the time adolescents spend under the influence of drugs is wasted time – a sort of pause in normal development,” says a report compiled by the department.

The report reveals that almost 70% of children aged 14 to 16 in Lahore attend school. And unfortunately, a large number of them use drugs inside and outside institutions, creating a huge challenge for authorities and communities in general. Since parents and teachers have a crucial role to play in ensuring the education of healthy and drug-free young people, the department has decided to launch this campaign which aims to achieve a series of objectives, including the reduction of demand, reduction of drug-related crime and violence, and reduction of substance abuse. -health and social cost with the ultimate goal of saving young people from illicit drug use.

As part of a methodology, the department will set up a hotline to report drug use in various educational institutions. The identity of the person reporting the drug use will be kept secret and the relevant educational institution will be informed of the complaint to take the necessary action against the drug use.

A multi-pronged approach will be used to achieve the desired results, including the creation of a hotline, training and capacity building of hotline service providers, raising public awareness of the number and whistleblower hotline campaign, education of students, parents, teachers and other non-teaching staff, providing awareness of the campaign and the effects of illicit drug use, on electronic, print and social media forums, preparing a comprehensive directory and referral network to indicate available counseling and rehabilitation forums, including Department of Social Welfare and Services Addiction Model Centers in six hospitals in Lahore.

“The advocacy and training sessions take place within the framework of the Colombo plan. We have also signed MoUs with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and University of Management and Technology (UMT). And once this phase is completed, we will enter the campaign execution phase during which a series of activities (seminars, workshops, group discussions, etc.) will begin across Lahore,” explained the DG.

Posted in Dawn, February 21, 2022


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