Drug Menace

Drug Menace

Chapter – One


Today human civilization is at stake with a new problem called “drug menace”. Though drug abuse is almost as old as human history, in the recent past it has assumed the shape of a national as well as a global problem. There is no single country which has not been affected by drug abuse while illicit-trafficking of narcotics has emerged as one of the most serious pervasive crimes. Abuse of drug is a kind of pathological and prohibitory offence which is increasing day by day all over the country. Because Bangladesh is called a transit route of drug trafficking network in this region. It is however, because of its geographic location. The Location of Bangladesh is, as such that is stands among between the Golden Crescent Zone (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) and the Golden Triangle (Laos, Burma, Thailand) are the two major heroin producing areas of the world. Besides this an important opium producing country like India is also around this country. So, the people of Bangladesh are supposed to be addicted easily (Sarker 2005:46). World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that, about 50 crore people in the world are affected by the abuse of drug (Showkatuzzaman 2006:267). If a man is affected by drug, it becomes different for him to come out this practice, even an addict has (a) a compulsory need or desire of drug taking (b) a tendency to wards increasing doses day by day and (c) eventual dependence on it. Many of the adolescent users begin their experiment with drugs through smoking cannabis (marijuana), cigarettes specially prepared with relatively higher intoxicant items usually in company with the closest friends. They may graduate to out of such practices, the use of heroin. Typically they begin by sniffing-it (snorting) and finally injecting it intravenously (shooting the mainline) (Cavan and Ferdinand 1995:151).

Through a study it has been found that 65 percent of the addicts start first with liquour, hemp and tend to taking heroin and pathedine. It is also found that “a great majority of the addicts were unemployed, 25 percent were students and the female addicts were estimated to be about 10 percent. Findings about how the subjects developed the habit indicate that 50 percent took first drug through drug user friends and under pressure, 20 percent out of frustrations, 15 percent out of curiosity. The highest incidence of addiction occurred between 23-26 years of age the study reports (Huq 2005).

Abuse of drug has some potential threats on personal and social health. The threats that usually following drug addiction can be identified as loss of interest in work, indifference to family responsibility, loss of ability to concentrate oneself which may impair or discord family relations increase in sexual demand or misbehaviour, violence or social nuisance and in boosting up uncounted criminal offences as mentioned (Sarker 2005:37). The other important aspect of abuse of drug is that it causes disturbance in perception of outer reality and of ones own identifying resistance to stress, freedom in decision making. Truly speaking it causes potential harm for self actualisation and mastery of ones own environment (Agarwal 1997:28). Drug addiction does not harm individual addicts only, it affects their families and the society as a whole. It paralyses the life of the addicts, disrupts peace and prosperity of families and even shake the stability of the social texture itself. It also begets moral degradation, generating different social crimes like theft, robbery, hijacking and terrorism. A drug addict appears to the criminal activities of collecting money to buy drugs. The types of criminal activities generally associated with drug abuse may be termed as offences; related to property. Regarding crime tendency of the drug addicts it has been said that ‘The habit smoking and drinking alcohol among urban youth have been increasing and passes dangerous threat to young people health. Sometimes they lead to road accidents and many anti-social behaviours are related to alcohol and drug addiction which produce physical and social disability among the youth” (Feroj 2004:16).

According to the UNB report- “Drug addiction is on the rise in Bangladesh causing an alarming increase in social crimes and injustice in the society. Authoritative sources said 65 percent of the crimes in the Dhaka city are taking place due to drug addiction and the scenario is almost the same in other cities of the country” (The New Nation 2005).

In an examination of the problem of drug abuses in the country the following criminal behaviours are observed.

Table 1

Types of Crime the Addicts have been Found Involved in

Types of Criminal BehaviourNo of Addicts (%)
Street-robbery (hijacking)15.0
Behaviour against standard conduct20.0
Drug peddling30.0
Unwilling to disclose (any offence)30.0

 Note : Total exceeds 100% due to commission of offence more than one by one. Most of criminal behaviours as have been found express themselves mainly as property offences and overtly violent.

Source : Hussain 2005.

Drug addiction has become a devastating national problem in our country. Due to the drug addiction, the criminal activities are increasing at an alarming rate in all over the country specially in Dhaka city. So. This study has been conducted to present and focus on the nature and causes of crime tendency of drug addicts in DhakaCity.

Objectives of the study

The principal objective of the study is to know the nature of crime tendency of drug addicts in Dhaka city. The specific objectives of the study are as follows;

1.     To know the socio-economic and demographic background of the drug addicts.

2.     To know the nature and causes of drug addiction.

3.     To know the nature and causes of crime of the drug addicts.

4.     To know about the view of the drug addicted for the solution of problem and their rehabilitational aspects.


Social Survey method has been used for the study. All the drug addicts who have come to receive treatment from the specialized medical centre of the metropolitan Dhaka city has been considered the population and each of them has been considered the unit of analysis of the study.


Four specialized medical centres (one-government centre namely ‘Madokashakti Neramoy Kendra’ and three others non-government centres namely ‘Mukti Clinic, Baraka Clinic and Apon respectively). Out of 120 drug addicts from these centres 75 samples have been selected randomly those who came to take treatment from those centres. All the respondents were male folk. It may be mentioned here that no female respondent were found in those centres.

Collection and Analysis of Data

Direct interview method was followed for collecting data. The data were analysed through simple statistical calculation such as frequencies and percentages.

Chapter – Two

*        Findings of the Study

Table 2

Age distribution of drug addicts



Percentages (%)













55 and above



Total (N=75)



 Average age ( X )=25.5 years.

The table shows that the highest concentration of drug addicts is between the age of 25 and 34 years (45.33%), followed by the 15-24 years (34.67%) and the 12.00%, 6.67%, 1.33% are in 35-44, 45-54 and 55 and above years respectively. No respondent was found below 15 years of age.

 Table 3

Marital Status of Drug Addicts

Marital Status


Percentages (%)










Divorced by the wife



Total (N=75)



 The study reveals that 58.67% of drug addicts are unmarried, 33.33% are married, 4.00% are widower and 4.00% are divorced. The average age of the respondents is 25.5 years (Table 1) which the legally recognised age of marriage. But due to their frustration, unemployment and drug addiction etc, they live on society remain un-married which influences our family system negatively and have adverse effects on socio-cultural life of the community, which they live in.

Education is one of the vital factors in the life of an individual. An educated man can overcome his problems properly. But the table reveals that 10.67% drug addicts are illiterate, 2.67% are below primary level, 16% attended primary level. 22.67% read up to class-x, 25.33% respondents have passed S.S.C/H.S.C and 18.67% are found to have completed graduation degree. The    remaining 4.00% have achieved the above graduation. It has been noticed that the rate of drug addiction is increasing among the educated people.

At present the students of schools, colleges, and universities become drug addicts- in our country. Findings of the study is consistent with this situation. The respondents are engaged in a variety of occupations. The highest number of respondents (26.67%) are students, 17.33% a businessmen, 18.67% are service holders, 16.00% are unemployed, 8.00%, 9.33% and 4.00% are day labourers, drivers, and others respectively.

Table 6

Monthly Income of the Drug Addicts

Income (Tk)FrequencyPercentage (%)
No income (dependent)


















Total (N=75)



Average income ( X )= 3332.00

The table reveals the monthly income of drug addicts. The majority of addicts don’t have any income (38.67%). About 18.67% earn Tk. 600-3800, 25.33% respondents earn Tk. 3800-6800, 9.33%, 5.33% and 2.69% earn Tk. 6800-8800, 8800-10800 and 10800-13800 respectively. The monthly average income of drug addicts is Tk. 3332.00 only and the mentionable percentages (38.67%) of the drug addicts have no income. As they have no income they involve themselves in any crime to fulfil their demands.

There is close relationship between occupation and monthly income. Monthly income varies due to the variety of occupation. The above table shows the inter-relationship between occupation and monthly income of the drug addicts. The highest 38.67 percent of drug addicts have no income monthly. Among them, 13.33 percent are unemployed, 22.67 percent are students and 2.67 percent are involved in others profession, 17.33 percent drug addicts are involved in business, among them, 5.33%, 4.00%, 5.33% 2.67% earns Tk. 3800-6800, 6800-8800, 8800-10800, 10800-13800 respectively.

Chapter – Three

Table 8

Distribution of the Causes of Drug Addiction

CausesFrequencyPercentages (%)
Peer-group influences6282.67
Failure in Love1013.00
Family Conflict1824.00
Total (N)= 75*162

Multiple responses were counted.

There are many reasons of being drug addicts in our country. The above table shows the distribution of causes of drug addiction. It reveals that 82.67 percent respondent become addicted by the influence of their peer-group/friend, 73.33 respondents mentioned that curiosity is the second reason of being addicts. From the study it is quite evident that frustration (17.33%), unemployment (5.33%), failure in love (13.00%) and family conflict (24.00%) are also influential causes of drug addiction.

Table 9

Nature of Reaction of the Drug Addicts if they Stop Taking Drug

Nature of responsesFrequencyPercentage (%)
Nose flowing



Growing aggressive



Perspiration of body



Biting of muscles



Growing ill feelings



Affected by fever






Total (N)= 75



 The table shows the nature of responses of the addicts if they stop taking the drug. Most of the respondents (30.67%) mention that they get ill-feelings. The remaining 10.67% of drug addicts get flowing of nose, 13.33% become aggressive, 14.67% get their body perspired, 12.00% get biting of muscles, 6.67% are affected by fever and 12.00% expresses their reaction in other ways. This means if a drug addict wishes to stop taking any drug, he can not do that easily. In other words drug addiction creates psycho-somatic problems and an addict puts himself under compulsion of taking drug because of this suicidal habit.

Table 10

Nature of Crime Committed by the Drug Addicts

Nature of CrimeFrequencyPercentages (%)



Street robbery (hijacking)



Extortion of money






Visiting brothels



Cruelty to women



Unwilling to confess (any offence)



Total (N)= 75


Multiple responses were counted.

The negative impact of drug addiction on society is that most of the addicts are involved in various social offences. The findings reveal that 28.00 percent of drug addicts are involved in stealing, 26.67 percent in street-robbery, 21.33%, 21.33%, 12.00% are involved in extorting money, pick-pocketing, visiting brothels, cruelty to women respectively and 9.33 percent of drug addicts are unwilling to disclose their offences. So, it can be said that the majority of them are engaged in anti-social activities and their deviant behaviour is affecting the atmosphere of normal social life which are detrimental to the health and hygiene of the citizenry.

Table 11

Causes of being Deviant of Drug Addicts

Nature of CrimeFrequencyPercentage (%)
Collecting money



Mitigating the excitement of taking drug



Group feelings



Separation of family life






Total (N)= 67



Multiple responses were counted.

It is assumed that the most of drug addicts are involved in crime of collecting money. The findings of this study are consistent with that idea. The table shows that the highest number (67.65%) of addicts are involved in crime for collecting money. 22.06%, 11.76%, 4.11%, 4.11% are involved in social offences for mitigation of excitement of taking drug, group-feelings, separation of family life and other offences respectively.

Table 12

Opinion of the Respondents in solving Problems related to Drug addiction



Percentage (%)Arrangement of proper treatment and rehabilitation of the drug addicts1317.33Creating social resistance2026.67Controlling illicit drug trafficking2330.67Creating public awareness079.33Formulating the proper law2229.33Total =(N) 75*8512

More than one answer.

A long listed suggestions what the respondents viewed necessary to eliminate the drug addiction. The questions were kept open and each respondent suggested more than one measures which will benefit them as an individual and as a whole. The highest 30.67% of them recommended to control the illicit drug trafficking, followed by enforcing and implementation of proper laws (29.33%), creating social resistance (26.67%), arrangement of proper treatment and rehabilitation of them (17.33%) and 9.33% of the addicts suggested to create public awareness by the publicity of mass-media.

Chapter – Four


The illegal use and worldwide trafficking of drugs increased at an alarming rate over the past two decades. Bangladesh has been affected by the problem negatively. On the basis of the present findings the following recommendations can be made. These should be kept in mind the policy makers and the planners of the government and non­-government organisation :

i.        A comprehensive census or survey should be undertaken which will provide us with the detailed picture of drug addicts situation in Bangladesh

ii.       Various research and case studies should be encouraged in connection with drug addiction from having a factual basis which in turn may help to develop proper policy-guideline.

iii.      A research should be conducted on the attitude and behaviour of the drug addicts of the family and society with the help of the govt. to formulate a policy for the treatment, rehabilitation of the drug addicts.

iv.      A research should also be under taken to know the nature of crime of the drug addicts by applying the participatory observation method.

v.       The required number of trained social workers should be recruited in the drug related specialized medical centres so that they can play a vital role in following up home-visit and rehabilitation of drug addicts in individual level, guardian level and community level.

vi.      A specific national policy and plan should be formulated as the preventive measures of drug addiction.

vii.     The various law enforcing agency like Police, Customs Authority, BDR, CID and National Narcotics Control Board should be co­ordinated so that they can launch an action to confront and combat the concomitant evil forces that are accelerating drug addiction.

viii.    Social awareness should be created through propaganda using mass-media and to create sense of social responsibility among the people in other words a social movement has to be induced applying social action method to cope with this situation more effectively.

ix.      The good old causes in other words the traditional social control agents like family, school, community, religious institution etc. have to be strengthened so that they may play a significant role in establishing social norms, values and social rules.

x.       Community policing may help the local power structure to resist social dis-organization related to drug addiction.

xi.      To reduce unemployment and frustrations employment opportunities should be created by the govt. and self-employment programmes should be encouraged.

On the basis of the findings of the present study we can say that drug addiction is not the problem of the individual only; it is a curse for our nation. So, we should take a renewed pledge to save our nation from the curse of drug abuse and secure a drug free world for our future generations.


Drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions around the globe and is being considered now as one of the dreadful problems of this century, crossing all social, economic, cultural and political boundaries. Bangladesh has been affected by the problem and has become a main agendum of discussion. Drug addiction is not a problem of the addicts only it also affects their family, community and society as a whole. Even it creates many social crimes in villages and towns; specially in the Dhaka city which hamper our traditional social system. Moreover many of the sexually transmitted diseases (STD) like Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are closely associated with intravenous drug use. Another cause of transmission of AIDS and other fatal STDs is unsafe sexual behaviour which is promoted by abuse of all kinds of drugs. In this connection, it is obvious that the drug addicts are involved in various anti social activities and their deviant behaviour causes many problems in our urban life and appear as obstacles to our socio-economic and cultural growth and development. Hence it is our moral and social responsibility to rectify the drug addicts and bring them back from their life-killing habit and deviant behaviour to normal life and rehabilitate them in society as productive ones. In order to obviate this deadly problem from the society concerted efforts and integrated measures should be taken by the concerned authorities. GOs, NGOs, Members of the civil societies should work hand in hand; specially the social workers can play an important role in this regard by using integrated social work method (like social action, social intervention, community organization, school social work, family welfare etc.) at the different level of social life to eradicate this problem from our social life. The planners, the policy makers and all concerned must keep it in mind that if we fail to obviate this fatal problem from our society it will bring the ultimate doom in our national life and our existence as a healthy nation from all points view will be at stake.


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1997     Prevention of Crime. New Delhi: Radiant Publishers, p. 28.

Cavan, R.S. and T.N. Ferdinand.

1995      Juvenile Delinquency. 3rd ed. New York: J.B. Lippincatt Co.

Firoj, R A

2004    Problems of Urban Youth, Souvenir of Youth Day ’04. Dhaka: Youth and Sports Ministry.

Huq, Enamul

2005  “Drug   Menace;   Bangladesh-Global   Perspective.”   Presented   at   the

Seminar on ANTI-DRUG of Asian Countries of INTERPOL (October-5-9)

Beijing. Monthly Ganashastha, 2004, p. 34.

2005 Hussain, A.N     “A Survey of Drug Addicts.” The Bangladesh Observer. January- 16, Dhaka.

2005 Sarker, Abdul Hakim

“Abuse of Drug; A Steadily Growing Social Problem in Bangladesh.” The Journal of Social Development.  Dhaka:  I.S.W.R.  University of Dhaka.

Shawkatuzzaman, S.

2006  Social Problems in Bangladesh: Nature and Remedies (in Bengla). Dhaka: BanglaAcademy.

The Peoples’  Republic of  Bangladesh

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(30 August – 28 October, 2009)

drug menace