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1 in 10 drug addicts can be rehabilitated, says MoPH

1 in 10 drug addicts can be rehabilitated, says MoPH

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Apr 11, 2018 - 14:31

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) on Tuesday expressed grave concern at the rising number of drug addicts in the country, saying only one of 10 junkies could be rehabilitated due to limited resources.

Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or upper house, members on Tuesday summoned counter-narcotics and public health minister, as well as deputy minister of interior and the Kabul police chief, to brief lawmakers on the efforts to tackle the issue.

Nisar Ahmad Haris, head of the Senate public welfare commission, called the increase in poppy cultivation, smuggling and use of drugs a matter of concern. The relevant organs had not taken proper action on the issue, he believed.

Citing one example, he pointed to the situation of drug addicts in Kabul. The number of people using narcotics was going up with each passing day, the legislator said.

Farhad Sakhi, a senator from Kabul, accused Kabul police officers of incompetence in addressing the drug issue. The open trade in narcotics in the central capital was questionable, he remarked.

“The presence of a large number of drug addicts in BadamBagh, Pul-i-Sukhta, Chama-i-Huzuri, in Kabul River and other areas of the capital showsthe weakness of the authorities concerned. The officials concerned are accountable.”

Kabul police chiefMaj. Gen. Mohammad Daud Aminsaid he took charge two months ago. Kabul police had been able to arrest 242 people in connection with drug smuggling during the period, he added.

Daud continued Kabul police had transferred 1,355 drug addicts to rehabilitation centers during the last two months and that he was committed to doing more to make the campaign against drugs a success.

Counter-Narcotics MinisterSalamatAzimi, responding to senators’ concern, agreed: “Narcotics are a national challenge and dealing with it needs strong coordination among relevant entities.”

The Ministry of Counter-narcotics, as a policymaking organ, could not deal effectively with the problem without having support from relevant institutions and executive authority, she said.

She acknowledged that the level of opium cultivation had increased this year as 328 hectares of land had been sown with the illicit crop in 24 provinces of the country.

Insecurity and increased demand for narcotics at the international level are the main reasons behind enhanced opium cultivation, Azimiexplained.

Ahmad Jan Naeem, deputy minister of public health, estimated around 3.5 million Afghans were addicted to drugs.

However, he pointed out, only one of every 10 addicts could be treated currently at rehabilitation centers and there was a possibility of them relapsing into drug consumption after being treated.

The deputy minister warned the drug crisis could not be controlled in the absence of curbs on cultivation, smuggling and production of narcotics.

mds/mud

 

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