In Parwan, number of female drug addicts on the rise
The Counter-Narcotics Department estimates at 3,890 the number of male drug addicts in the province. However, it has no information regarding the female addicts.
However, officials said there are nearly 200 female addicts in the province, where there was only one rehabilitation centre for males but none for females.
The rehabilitation centre head, Dr. Niamatullah Rashidi said their assessment showed there were 150-200 female addicts, mainly in Syedkhel and Jabalus Siraj districts.
Without giving details, the official said women and children from some families were addicted to drugs. Main reasons behind addiction are poverty and joblessness.
Khord Agha (37), a resident from the Bayan area of Charikar, was addicted to heroin, but recovered two months ago at the rehabilitation centre. He said there were many female addicts in the province.
“Most of the female addicts eschew visiting the centre for cultural reasons, including the social stigma attached to addiction. I know an addicted couple begging in Charikar,” he said.
Director of Women Affairs Nadira Giyah said figures from various organisations indicated many women were addicted to drugs. Her department is trying to determine the exact numbers of the addicted women in the province.
“If a family head is addicted, his habit can naturally have a negative impact on the rest of family members. We don’t have figures for female addicts because women generally shy away welfare institutions,” she explained.
The department had so far conducted several awareness programmes on the harmful effects of drugs, she said.
Acting Director of Counternarcotics Department Dost Mohammad said they had also conducted 48 awareness campaigns featurin about 200 tribal elders and influential figures.
Pajhwok Afghan News tried to contact female drug addicts, but none of them was ready to give interviews.
Mohammad said this year they had counted nearly 3,890 drug users in the province, but the numbers was growing with each passing each day.
The acting counternarcotics director claimed poppy cultivation in the province had been zero over the past six years.
Gul Lala (22), a resident of Jawibar area of Syagard district, has been using drugs over the past two years. “I came to the rehabilitation centre, but there was not a simple empty bed.
“Officials told me to come a few days later. I ask the government to construct a big hospital to accommodate many addicts,” he said.
The provincial police chief, Mohammad Zaman Mamozai, said they had closed down 10 drug-selling centres in the province since March 2015 and referred dozens of drug dealers to prosecutors.
There was a need for a well-equipped rehabilitation centre to treat women and male in addicts in the province, he believed.
However, Rehabilitation Centre Director Dr. Niamatullah Rashid said dozens of male and female addicts visited the 20-bed centre daily.
The centre, with the capacity of curing 80 male addicts, was built in 2012. It prescribes medicine for dozens of others, including women, for use at home.
“As per policy, we could only cure men give medicines to women addicts,” he said, adding they had requested the Ministry of Public Health several times to jack up the number of beds.
The capacity of rehabilitation centres in Parwan would be raised from 20 to 50 beds in the next solar year (starting on March 22), said a Ministry of Public Health official.
Dr. Ahmad Fawad Osmani said there were more than 100 such centres with capacity of treating 35,000 drug addicts annually across the country.
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