Ex-drug addict runs recovery centre in Helmand
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A former drug addict has established a treatment centre for drug addicts in the capital of southern Helmand province, the world’s leading opium producing region.
Abdul Rahim, who himself used drugs for 10 years, told Pajhwok Afghan News 140 addicts were currently being treated at the centre funded by Haji Wali Barakzai, a trader who had been addicted to heroin for 10 years.
Rahim said all expenses of the ‘treatment’ facility were paid by Barakzai, who launched the facility by collecting 250 addicts from the streets of Lashkargah.
Of them, some have been discharged after ‘treatment’ and 140 are still being treated, said Rahim, adding the treatment of drug addicts has been launched by ex-addicts in unison.
“Such treatment centres also exist in Farah and Herat provinces, the expenses of which are paid by another trader Zia Faizi, also a former addict.”
“We don’t give medicines to the addicts, we read from books about the injurious effects of drugs use on health. We put the addicts in a pool of cold water when they are intoxicated. This way we treat them and it has given results.”
He said the centre was supervised by former addicts. “We can better understand these individuals more than a doctor and we can better treat them.”
He said the under-treatment addicts were provided food, accommodation and other needed facilities at the centre. He claimed those discharged from the centre after treatment had not returned to their drug habit.
One of the addicts at the centre, Nangyalai, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “I use drugs for the past 12 years. I have attempted treatment 13 times but could not recover. But now I feel better and I can feel that I am recovering.”
He urged the youth to stay away from drugs which had different bad consequences.
Another addict at the facility, Pir Mohammad, said he was formerly a policeman and performed duty on the Kandahar-Lashkargah highway.
“I developed the habit of drug use six years ago and during that period I did many awful things. I stole goods from people and slept at unhygienic places, but now I am on the path to recovery.”
He called on the government to assist such centres in order to check the number of increasing drug addicts in the country.
Counternarcotics director for Helmand Syed Ahmad Woror told Pajhwok that the private centre in Lashkargah was launched about two months ago.
“The centre is a standard one or not, but since it has launched its activity, drug addicts could not be seen in the city,” he said, acknowledging the government was yet to assist the centre.
He said four government-run drug addict rehabilitation centres were also operating in Lashkargah.
There are a 50-bed, a 20-bed and another two small government-run clinics treating addicts are operating in Helmand, where the number of addicts is estimated at 100,000.
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