No Eid for Farah addicts
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): An addicted youth in western Farah province say he has been addicted to drugs for years now, not remembering when Eid came and gone.
“It has been four years that I live in old city in Farah like an animal. I have no idea when Eid comes and goes,” the pale-faced man told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Hundreds of residents flock from different parts of the province to the provincial capital for Eid shopping, but in the old city --- a historical place that is now a major site for gathering of addicts --- nothing seems to have changed.
The smoke and fire of the drugs have alienated hundreds of addicted youth in this locality from their families and traditions like Eid.
Yaar Mohammad, 28, is among the addicts who abuse cocaine with a group of his friends. Hailing from Khur Maloq village in provincial capital, he said it was four years that he dwelled in old city among addicts.
“We don’t have Eid. Since the old city has become my house I don’t remember any Eid,” he said. “I roam around these wastes like an animal and like a dog. Eid or no Eid it makes no difference to me.”
He said it was Eid for him when he received his dose of drugs.
With no energy to talk, Yaar Mohammad said he started using drugs 11 years ago in Kerman Shahr of Iran. He worked for a brick factory and used drugs after insistence from his employer; he first started using opium then other forms of drugs.
His parents have died five years back, he said, other members of his family still lived in Kerman of Iran. “It has been four years since I was deported by Iranian police. After returning to Farah I didn’t have any relative to go to and nobody else would accept me either. So I had no choice but to come to the old city.”
In the past four years, he said, the old city had become his home and other addicts had become his family.
“Eid is for those who are healthy and can afford a new cloth. It has been many years I’m wearing only one cloth and can’t wash myself for months,” he added. “I’m fed up with this life. I ask Allah either to save me from this situation or take my life.”
He said he was eager to leave drugs. He had reached out to 20-bed hospital in Farah for rehabilitation but was not admitted because of having no guarantee and no relatives.
Yaar Mohammad said there were 500 more addicts in the ruins of the old city out of which more than 100 did not have any homes or relatives.
According to the UN, Afghanistan has three million addicts. According to counter-narcotics ministry there are 108 rehabilitation centres across the country that had the capacity of treating only 40,000 addicts per year.
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