Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Among Sexually Abused Women in Pakistan
Keywords:Pro-feminism, sexual victimization, sexually-abused women, drug addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder
The study aims to identify factors which contribute to the prevalence of alcoholism and drug addiction among sexually abused women in an ultra-conservative society. A qualitative research design is used in conjunction with interviews from women and physicians, categories which included both psychiatrists and sexologists, across six districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The phenomena of drug addiction and alcoholism were more pronounced in victims working for the commercial sex sector. The findings suggest Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) as a driving factor of alcoholism and drug abuse, which in turn cascades into secondary and tertiary levels of trauma. Sexual victimization and re-victimization, familial rejection, stigmatisation and social degradation were contributing factors to relentless stress. Drugs in vogue among victims were Valium-two (Diazepam) and Lexotanil that contained Bromazepam. Hashish and alcohol were consumed sparingly by victims, while the use of cocaine and heroin was absent due to severe masculine perceptions and addiction. The study contributes to a better understanding of a socially-excluded, economically-disadvantaged and stigmatised group by taking a pro-feminist stance to advocate for the rights of victims.