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Thousands of addicts await treatment in Nangarhar

Thousands of addicts await treatment in Nangarhar

By
On
Jan 25, 2017 - 15:14

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The Nangarhar counter-narcotics department on Wednesday said the number of drug addicts has increased in the eastern province due to easy access to drugs, unemployment and improper treatment of the addicted people.

Idrees Sapi, the department head, told Pajhwok Afghan News the number of drug addicts was estimated at more than 100,000 in the province.

“The survey hasn’t finished yet, but the population of drug addicts is predicted at nearly 100,000 individuals. The number includes rehabilitated addicts as well.”

A 300-bed rehab hospital has been established where 400 addicts are currently under treatment, he added, saying the hospital couldn’t solely cope with the large number of addicts in the province.

He also mentioned a ‘harm reduction programme’ set up to help the addicted people. “Addicts also receive lunch meal in the programme, they are cleaned and guided. The rehab centre also provides addicts with fresh syringes, which they use to inject drugs into their bodies.”

He said until free sale of drugs was not prevented and the rehabilitated people were not provided job opportunities and their treatment was not properly conducted, the number of addicts would further increase.

Meanwhile, Nangarhar public health director Dr. Najibullah Kamawal confirmed the lack of rehabilitation facilities for drug addicts in the province.  He said 400 addicts were being treated at the 300-bed rehab centre but yet thousands of others awaited their treatment.

Provincial council member Zabihullah Zamari blamed security personnel for the situation, saying until drug trade continued, the issue would persist.

“We have informed the police headquarters about freely selling of drugs in the city and they haven’t been able to prevent it. They at times arrest some persons but that is not enough.”

Police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said if police had committed negligence, people had also not helped them in this regard. He said police would take action if people informed them about drug sale.

Experts say poverty, joblessness, low level of education and open sale and purchase of drugs are reasons behind the increasing number of addicts.

sns/ma