Hundreds return to drug use in Bamyan
BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): In a tragic development, more than 300 rehabilitated drug addicts have returned to the habit in central Bamyan province, where many addicts refuse to go to rehab centres, an official says.
Officials at the provincial Public Health Department say 1,200 drug users have been treated at rehabilitation centres over the past two years, but 330 of them have resumed taking drugs.
Most of the addicts are being treated at the 20-bed rehabilitation Shahab centre and at the public health department.
Public Health Director Dr. Raihana Haidari said unfortunately, the individuals addicted to drugs did not disclose the facts and trauma they faced. She said most of the individuals referred to rehabilitation centres were male.
According to Bamyan counternarcotics department, correct figures for drug addicts were not available due to non-registration trend. But figures by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) put the number of addicts at thousands.
Hussain Nazari, provincial counternarcotics department head, said the drug addicted included 97 percent men, two percent women and one percent children under 18-year of ages.
Most of these individuals, having addiction to opium, heroine and hashish, were addicted to drugs in neighbouring Iran.
In Bamyan City, dozens of persons in small groups are being seen using drugs.
One of them, Mohammad, 40, said he had been addicted to opium when he went to neighbouring country for job some 13-year ago.
“I feel my burning like situation inside my body when I stop using opium,” he said.
The counternarcotics director said two hospitals and a private clinic were functioning in Bamyan for proper treatment of drug addicted. These centres accommodated about one hundred persons.
UNODC and counternarcotics ministry figures showed more than one million persons have addiction to drugs in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, 40 youth, including girls from various districts completed a five-day workshop that organized by Colombo Plan NGO and provincial youth department.
Unfortunately, the number of drug addicted was more than the given figures, while some of addicted people hiding their addiction; some others used this as medicines.
Funded by the United States, the training program would cover 1,300 persons in 15 provinces.
A participant, Adila Muhibi, said they received various trainings at the workshop, especially measures as how to keep people away from drug addiction.
Although poppy cultivation reached to zero in Bamyan province for the past eight years, but it becomes a route for drug smuggling from north to south and south to north of the country.
Governor Ghulam Ali Wahdat said smugglers were bringing drugs to Bamyan from neighbouring provinces, but he directed police and other departments to take effective measures to stop the smuggling of contraband.
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