Drugs in the Global Village

Middle East Regional Report


Costs and Consequences of Abuse



A total of 8 deaths associated to heroin and 4 deaths by heroin overdose were reported in 1990 (U.N. 1990).
H.I.V. infection and Hepatitis B virus are reported increasing among drug abusers. This is attributed to the practice of sharing needles (U.N. 1990).


Increases in criminal activity, family disruption, road accidents and violence were reported as consequences associated with illicit drug abuse (IDAAS 1990)


Road accidents and crimes of violence are reported as a result of drug abuse (CMO 1991).


Costs and consequences of drug abuse reported include the economic costs of technical equipment to strengthen the forces along the eastern border, cost for treatment and rehabilitation of abusers, cost of drugs, as well as consequences of non productivity of drug abusers leading to joblessness and the burden of supporting abusers families. All funds are provided by the government (U.N. 1992).


In 1990, 104 opiate related deaths were reported, and 89 cases of death due to overdose. Another 43 cases of death due to heroin overdose were also reported (U.N. 1990) Monthly costs for treatment of drug dependent abusers is estimated as follows: US$1,200 per patient in therapeutic communities, US$200 per patient in community treatment programmes, US$1,800 per patient in detoxification units, and US$100 per patient in methadone maintenance programmes. Those who are not insured by the national security insurance are not entitled to financial support (U.N. 1992).


Consequences of drug abuse include an increase in both the divorce and school drop rates (U.N. 1991).


One case of hepatitis non A non B type was reported in 1992, in a heroin addict. Among solvent abusers, incidence of ataxia, abnormal involuntary movements and cerebellar damage was reported. A total of six drug related deaths were reported in 1992 (2 heroin abusers and 1 abuser of other opiate-type drugs, 1 benzodiazepine, and 2 unknown) (CMO 1991).


In 1988, the total amount spent on drug abuse in Pakistan was 40 billion Rs., compared to 4 billion spent in 1982/83. Although drug dependent abusers obtain their money by selling narcotics or stealing property, secondary costs of drug abuse must be met by the tax payers; such as costs to rehabilitate the abuser, local hospitals, law enforcement costs and provincial and local costs (NCP 1989).


A relationship between drug abuse and crime has been indicated. In a recent study, 25 per cent of the sample comprised people who had drug-related criminal records (CMO 1990).


No information reported in Annual Reports Questionnaire by 31st December 1993.


Ten cases of HIV infection and two cases of AIDS were reported in 1992 (U.N. 1992).


References and notes

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