Worrying rising drug users in Faryab
MAIMANA (PAN): Officials in northern Faryab lament over rising drug users and blamed security personnel, alleged linked to narcotic dealers, for the alarming social menace.
Dr. Mohammad Maroof Samar, who works with the drug addict rehabilitation centre, told Pajhwok Afghan News, that recent assessment revealed of more than 30,000 drug users in the province and numbers were growing.
The surge in drug usage was largely due to lack of job opportunities, round-the-clock carpet weaving activities and migration to neighbouring countries where youths are exposed to the dangerous habit.
Over the last five years about 4,000 people were referred to the rehabilitation centre for drug-related treatments, Dr. Samar added.
According to En. Ahmad Zaman Safi, director of Nejat Centre Organisation, their recent survey showed about 8,000 drug addicts were found in Andkhowi, Qurumqul, Ghorghan and Sancharak districts, of which more than 60 percent were women and children.
During the last five years, about 1,550, including 680 women and 270 children, underwent treatment at the centre.
Monthly, nearly 40 patients are rehabilitated in their two regional and residential programmes, he added.
Safi said lack of awareness on the dangers of narcotic usage and the demand in the lucrative carpet weaving industry, where women weavers inject drugs to put their children to sleep for long hours were reasons behind high drug usage in these areas.
A Khwaja Musa resident, Abdul, who is only known with one name, said he recovered after undergoing a month’s treatment in the 10-beded hospital in Maimana, the provincial capital.
“I picked the habit in neighboring Iran and was spending $ 12.12 (600 afs) on drugs daily,” he said.
Asif, another drug user, who was cured after 12 years of addiction, said he was injecting heroin at a cost of 1,000 afs daily, and he too picked the habit in Iran.
He added: “Land that I inherited from my father I sold it and spent all the money on drugs.”
Meanwhile, public are outraged over the serious drug addiction among youths in the area and blamed police for not doing enough to stem the social threat.
Dr. Noor Mohammad Noorani, deputy head of local council in Pustonkot district, said drug users and distributors were growing day by day in the province.
However, Col. Mohammad Saber Sangin, the province anti-narcotics chief, rejected police were cooperating with local drug distributors but said security forces conducted regular operations to weed them out.
He said in this current year more than 60 anti-narcotic operations were launched, where 76 suspects were held, 3,700 kilograms of drugs seized, 10 weapons, three vehicles and five motorbikes confiscated.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.