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Drug use soars in Afghanistan

KABUL: Drug abuse in Afghanistan has soared this year and threatens to worsen as number of intravenous drug users has increased compared to the preceding years.

The Health Ministry said Sunday that there has been a surge in drug abuse in Afghanistan and more people are turning to illicit drugs.

A health ministry official, Abdul Mobin Sultankhil, said not only had opioid epidemic affected adults but teenagers as well. Most teenage drug addicts use hard drugs like heroin and opium, while adults use opium and stimulant drugs like crystal, amphetamine and potassium tablets.

“Based on information we have, nearly 11% of the country’s population have symptoms of drug addiction. They either directly or indirectly have used drugs,” he said.

Recent studies of the counter narcotics ministry show that some youth, students in particular, use potassium tablets to stay awake.

Ministry of Counter Narcotics has explained that unrestricted access to drugs and high rates of unemployment are behind the epic rise in drug addiction.

An official at Ibn-e Sina Hospital, Dr. Wahidullah, said that majority of drug addicts under treatment are juveniles and teenagers.

“The number of our patients with drug abuse problem has soared this year. At the outset, most of them were heroin addicts, but amphetamine and crystal addicts began soaring since last year,” he added.

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