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The Correlation Between Drugs and Poverty

The Correlation Between Drugs and Poverty
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about
284 million people globally undergo drug abuse between the ages of 15 to 64. The correlation between drugs and poverty takes a variety of different stances.

The Problem

Although drugs do not discriminate against anyone, in particular, they tend to favor the lower-income population the most. People in poverty sometimes use drugs to cope with their living situation. The stress of being in poverty often inspires a feeling of hopelessness that leaves the individual vulnerable to substance abuse.

The act of substance abuse can lead someone who is wealthier into poverty as well. For instance, drug addiction often inspires a lack of motivation. This can be especially harmful in the workforce where the desire to work hard and meet deadlines is crucial. If terminated from a job, it can be very difficult to find a new one. Considering that, most people will waste away the rest of their money in an act of despondency.

The Lack of Resources

Unfortunately, many people living in poverty lack the funds they need to access support for drug addiction. In fact, in Pakistan, 99.7% of the people seeking help for drug addiction, cannot afford it.  

One case shows a boy at the young age of 14 who was unable to seek the help he needed to get over his addiction. Due to the steep prices and lack of space, the boy was denied a spot at this rehabilitation center in Pakistan. Many know this South Asian country for its lack of drug support centers. The number of opium users bypasses the number of support groups, leading to an increase in the amount of poverty seen throughout the country. This further indicates the correlation between drugs and poverty.

The Solution

Many countries have already taken action to counteract these effects. For instance, several South Asian countries brought public awareness over drug abuse on World Drug Day. Communities joined together in activities that helped people recognize the importance of acknowledging drug abuse. Organizations from across the globe united as one to address the issues that follow drug addiction and are also working to ensure the services and medicine necessary to assist drug addicts end up in place.

The Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation (KKAWF), established in 2015, focuses to raise awareness about drug abuse in Pakistan. KKAWF served more than 5,000 people with the activities it developed in 2018, including sports events, workshops and campaigns that focused on raising awareness. The Foundation engages politically by urging the authorities to address “the challenges of drug trafficking and the spread of substance abuse.”

Several South Asian countries have attempted to monitor and confiscate drugs more often. However, drugs still continue to be sold illegally due to the large percentage of crime taking place throughout South Asian countries. To counter this problem of illegal drug trafficking, the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) composed the Regional programme to aid the factors contributing to the selling and buying of drugs.

Looking Ahead

Although there is no direct correlation between drugs and poverty, it is evident that the two tie together. By recognizing the link between the two, elected officials can begin to take drastic action in fighting off this devastating loop.

Madison Stivala
Photo: Wikipedia Commons