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Number of youth using crystal meth 60pc up in Kunar


Number of youth using crystal meth 60pc up in Kunar

Mar 05, 2018 - 19:13

ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Health officials and residents say the number of youth using the synthetic drug crystal methamphetamine has increased by 60 percent in eastern Kunar province.

Health experts say consistent use of crystal meth can result in severe anxiety, paranoia, and insomnia.

Kunar residents say the drug popularly known as ice could be easily found in Asadabad, the provincial capital, and districts. They say a large number of youth including teenagers are using the drug.

Rahim Gul, a resident of Manogi district of Kunar, told Pajhwok Afghan News crystal meth was highly used for inebriety in Kunar for being inexpensive and easily accessible.

He criticized the government and security officials in particular for not taking action to prevent the availability of drugs. He warned Kunar would be turned into a center of drug addicts if the issue was not paid urgent attention.

Gharibullah, a resident of Noorgul district, said one of his brothers was also addicted to crystal meth.

His addicted brother could dot work and Gharibullah was the only one in his family to earn money and provide food. He asked the government to treat addicted people and strictly ban narcotics sales in market.

Sadiq, 20, who has been using crystal meth for the last six months, says he goes unconscious whenever he uses the synthetic drug.

“It has a high intoxication and whenever I use it, it knocks me semi-unconscious, crystal meth is like using cocaine powder, it can be found anywhere and is also cheap,” he said.

“We are now addicted to it, we must find money from any possible way to buy the drug, we steal glasses, batteries and people’s shoes from mosques to buy narcotics,” the youth said.

Helal, a resident of Asadabad city, urged police to prevent narcotics frome being trafficked, sold and purchased and arrest those involved.

Mohammad Ibrahim Mamond, provincial counternarcotics director, confirmed the number of drug addicts increased in Kunar this year.

He said Islamic scholars, tribal elders and families could play a better role in controlling the youth and said there was also the need for a strong campaign against narcotics.

Mamond said police were responsible to prevent sale and purchase of narcotics and take action against violators.

A civil hospital official in Kunar also agreed the number of crystal meth addicts has increased in the province.

Dr. Sultan Mohammad Azimi, head of the hospital, said they had the capacity to treat only 20 patients at a time.

He said in the past they would treat 18 drug addicts from other provinces but now 16 addicts were from Kunar itself, showing a 60 percent increase in their number.

“This drug addiction treatment center was built almost eight years ago and it contains 20 beds. Based on our rules, we keep a drug addict for 45 hours under treatment and provide awareness about the risks of drugs,” he said.

He said crystal meth was used as a recreational drug and was trafficked from Iran, but people now had started a wrong use of it.

“Continued use of this drug causes various health issues and can mentally affect children born to addicted parents”, he said.

Besides easy access to drugs, illiteracy is another reason behind the increased drug addiction.