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    111 drug addicts treated in Ghazni

    GHAZNI CITY (PAN): As many as 111 people, including 40 women and 30 children, with drug addiction were provided treatment at a hospital for the addicts during last four years in southern Ghazni province, an official said on Wednesday.

    More drug addicts would be treated at the recently upgraded hospital in the future, said Dr. Nasrullah Naimi, the hospital in-charge.

    He said most of the treated people in the 10-bed hospital were addicted to drugs in Iran and Pakistan.

    "I have been taking drugs for the last five years since I developed an addiction to it in Iran," Ali Ahmad, one of the addicts, said. Another addict, Farooq, on the other hand, urged people not to use opium or heroin.

    Although farmers in Ghazni have stopped cultivating poppy crops, most of the addicts are returnees from neighbouring countries, a high peace council member, Ghani Bahadar, said. "If the addicts are provided with job opportunities, it can help them to refrain using drugs," he said.

    Public health officials estimate the number of drug users as 6,000 in Ghazni.