By: Faizan Ul Haq (Summer Intern – Batch 2)
Abstract: The following paper will endeavour to interpret and explain the findings of two surveys carried out by Gallup Pakistan, both related to the perception of narcotics and alcohol use and consumption in Pakistan. The survey conducted in 2016 and 1987 asked whether drug use was “exceedingly alarming for our society” or whether it was “just a matter of living and eating habits of the people”. From 1987 to 2016, 13% more people felt like it was not a social problem. A similar survey on Alcohol asked whether “alcohol use should be strictly forbidden and punished” or if “it should be left to individual discretion”; between 2009 and 2016, 22% more people felt that it was a personal matter. There are three broad reasons for this. First, the influence of religion weakened. This is due to the particular religious values that prohibit drugs being 13% – 18% less prevalent, as well as people being 12% less likely to avoid drugs because of religious reasons. Secondly, recreational drugs that are less harmful are believed to be more widely available and their supply has apparently increased, as evidenced by the number of drugs captured by the Ministry of Narcotics Control. Thirdly, less people now tend to view the issues caused by drugs as important, an approximate decrease of 15% – 20%.