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Higher Education for Pakistan's Female Addicts

A disproportionate number of the country's women drug users have high-school and college degrees.


Education is no barrier to addiction.
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By McCarton Ackerman


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A new survey conducted by the Pakistan Ministry of Narcotics Control shows that nearly 70% of female drug addicts in the country are either high-school or college educated. The study, which interviewed 500 women in Islamabad, Lahore and other cities throughout Pakistan, finds that 47% of the women are college graduates, while 21% have had at least primary or matriculation education. Their drug of choice is charas, a hashish form of cannabis made in Pakistan and neighboring countries: 47% report being hooked on it. Approximately 43% of the female addicts got their drugs from friends and 16% from neighbors—a much smaller number were forced into drug use by their husbands. The most common reason cited for using drugs is pleasure—followed by emotional stress, physical pain and domestic violence. Ministry of Narcotics Control spokesman Muhammad Ismail says a survey is now planned to determine the total number of Pakistani female drug addicts; according to the ministry's Director of the General Planning and Monitoring Unit, Muhammad Shahid, "Women drug addiction in our country has increased alarmingly during the past couple of years."

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