Heroin destroyed my life, says an addict in Kunduz
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): “I have no status at home among my family members as well as in the society because of my addiction to heroin which has destroyed my life. I want to get rid of it,” says a drug addict in northern Kunduz province.
Ahmad Farid, who was taking drugs near the Chihil Dokhtaran hill in the limits of the 3rd police district of Kuduz City, told Pajhwok Afghan News more than 30,000 youth were using drugs in the province.
The Chihil Dokhtaran hill locality has recently become a safe haven for drug addicts and groups of addicts covered in shawls could be seen in the area in a very dirty and unhygienic situation while using narcotics.
Ahmad Farid, 30, has been using drugs for the past five years and during this period he was isolated by his family and friends.
“When I need drugs, I beg people for money or steal or snatch their money by threatening them with knife. I do this when left with no other option. I had several times stabbed people on refusal and my family no longer supports me, they have disowned me and they don’t let me in house,” he said.
Farid, who is married and has three children, started using drugs in Iran in company of his addicted friends.
Regarding the bad impact of drugs on his health, he said he could not afford to stay away from using heroin for a while. “I feel pain and my body aches and I feel like I am dying, but I feel better after using the drugs.”
“Heroin takes me to another world where I don’t care about anything, but when I come out of the drugs’ influence, I feel guilty for not quitting the addiction,” he said.
He criticised the government for not paying attention to the treatment of addicts and not arresting drug dealers who were selling the drugs as openly as food items. He said drug peddlers purchased the drugs from street vendors.
“If the doors of a house are open, the addicts enter and steel everything from the house,” a resident of Kunduz City, Anwar Jee, said, claiming nine sheep of his neighbor had recently been stolen.
Another addict, Abdul Mohammad, who has been using the drugs for the past three years, said “I went to Iran for work as I was jobless. I would meet friends in spare time, they would offer me heroin to use.”
He said drugs could be purchased openly in Kunduz City and the government was neither preventing the sale of drugs nor providing work opportunities and treatment facilities to the addicts.
“The addiction of my brother lowered our status in the society. If he gets a chance, he sells house stuff at throwaway prices to get money and purchase heroin,” the brother of a drug addict, Shakib, said.
“My brother has cut off himself from the society and has no connection with our tribe due to using drugs,” he said.
Kunduz counternarcotics director Abdul Baseer Murshid said no new survey has been carried out to know the exact number of addicted people in the province, but two years ago their number stood at nearly 30,000 and there might be a five percent increase in their population during the past two years.
Most drug addicts are in Qala-i-Zal district and they are mostly women who use opium while weaving carpets and also give the same to their babies, the official said.
With the help of elders and influential figures, they surveyed the number of drug addicts in different areas and found that their number had increased due to joblessness, poverty, lack of government attention, said the provincial council chief, Mohammad Yousuf Ayubi.
“The presence of addicts on roads and other public areas scare schoolgoing children. Parents of many children are obliged to accompany their children to school,” he said.
“We cannot leave open our house doors even for a minute and we take our children to school because they are afraid of drug addicts,” a civil society activist, Zabihullah Majeedi, said.
He said first of all, the government should prevent the sale and smuggling of drugs in Kunduz before constructing any rehabilitation centre. He said the government should create jobs for the jobless youth.
Meanwhile, the director of the 50-bed rehabilitation centre in Kunduz City, Dr. Abdul Quddos Miankhel, said nearly 400 drug addicts were each year been cured at the centre.
“We cure addicted people in three ways. The first method is admitting them, the second method is prescribe them medicines without admitting them in the hospital and thirdly our mobile health workers cure addicted people at their homes,” he said, adding they cured nearly 1000 individuals each year.
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