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67 percent of rural Punjab households contain a drug addict

Next Sunday’s Sunday Gaurdian has a worrying story about the rising level of drug addiction in Punjab. Here is a striking couple of lines, “three years ago, the state government’s social security department told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that 67% of its rural household had at least one drug addict. The state with highest per head consumption of alcohol has over 16% of its population addicted to hard drugs.” When experts saw figures suggesting a seven percent Hep C prevalence rate in Punjab, they ridiculed the idea: maybe it doesn’t look quite so unbelievable now. Nearby, over the border, it is now estimated that Pakistan has over a million heroin addicts. The war in Afghanistan continues to have all sorts of unpredictable consequences.

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