A qualitative investigation of drug use among Pakistani road users

This study explored a broad range of risk taking behaviours of road users, including drug use by Pakistani drivers. It also investigated associations between risky road use and fatalism and other cultural beliefs. This paper reports findings relating to drug driving in the cities of Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted with bus, truck, and taxi drivers, policy makers and field police officers. Interviews suggested widespread use of illicit drugs, particularly among bus, truck and taxi drivers. Reasons for drug use included recreational purposes, stimulants during long driving episodes, and substance addiction. Furthermore, the use of drugs and any association with road crashes was generally viewed as linked to fatalism rather than to any fault of an individual. In other words, people did not believe there was an association between drug use and road crashes, even if they had personally experienced such. Police knowledge of drug use among drivers was evident, although there is no formal drug driving testing regime in Pakistan. The substantial increase in drug use among the population in recent years highlights a significant public health challenge in Pakistan. This qualitative research, although recognized as not representative of the broader population, suggests that there is significant cause for concern about drug driving, especially among professional drivers, and a need for further investigation and intervention.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 404-9
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495692
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:13AM