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Increasing drug addicts swarm Nimroz cemeteries


Increasing drug addicts swarm Nimroz cemeteries

Aug 27, 2017 - 16:24

ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Local officials in southwestern Nimroz province say nearly 4,000 drug addicts spend their time in cemeteries and on roadsides in a miserable condition in the provincial capital, Zaranj.

Mohammad Ali Ghamai, the counternarcotics department head, told a seminar “People’s awareness about drug harms” here that security forces in coordination with his department and the public health department sometimes collected and transferred addicts to health centers.

He linked the increasing population of drug addicts to the use of Nimroz as a smuggling route for drugs from other provinces. He expected further increase in the number of people slipping into addiction in Nimroz.

Ghamai said about 5470 hectares of land was cultivated with poppies last year, when the crop on only 45 hectares of land was destroyed because most of the cultivated land was in areas under Taliban control.

Governor Mohammad Sami also said drugs were destroying the society and the young generation, calling it people’s duty, particularly of religious scholars, to play their role in discouraging drug abuse.

Dr. Syed Khalil Shah Kazemi, director of the addiction treatment hospital, said most of the drug users in Zaranj were those who had started using drugs outside of Afghanistan before returning back.

He added mental stress, distance from home and easy access to narcotics were among reasons behind the increasing number of drug addicts.

He also noted the government used to collect drug addicts and bring them to hospital for treatment. He said there was a 50-bed treatment centre for male addicts and a 20-bed for females in the city, where he said about 10,000 addicts existed.

“A majority of these people are those who went abroad for work but unfortunately returned addicted to their homeland.”

Drug addict Mohammad Iqbal said he had been abroad to find work but slipped into addiction there. He blamed poverty for his habit.