Islamabad: A joint report from Pakistan and the UN on drug use reveals that 5.8 percent, equivalent to 6.4 million of the population in Pakistan aged between 15 and 64, used drugs in the last 12 months, local media on Wednesday reported.
The Drug Use in Pakistan 2013 Technical Summary Report launched by the government of Pakistan, together with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, highlighted cannabis as most commonly used by 3.6 percent of the population, equivalent to four million people, reported Xinhua.
Pakistan`s current population is estimated at 180 million. Opiates -- heroin and opium -- are used by almost 1 percent of all drug users, equivalent to one million people, according to the finding of the report.
The UNODC Islamabad office said Wednesday that the report was released on the second day of the 56th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna on Tuesday.
Another major finding is the high prevalence of non-medical use of prescription drugs nationwide, particularly amongst Pakistani women. Almost all women misused opioid-based pain-killers and to a lesser extent tranquilizers and sedatives which are readily available in pharmacies.
About 420,000 drug users are estimated to be injecting drugs in Pakistan which equate to 0.4 percent of the population, a higher estimate than ever reported previously.