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Editorial: Female drug addicts

In this country, people are running after joy. But, happiness is nowhere in sight. Incidents to cry over are many as compared to moments to rejoice. It will be a miracle to find a day that turn into night without hearing bad news. Such days are worth memorable. Unfortunately, most of us are deprived of such happy memories.

It has also been proved by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network or SDSN. In honor of the International Day of Happiness, falls on March 20, the SDSN has published the 2016 World Happiness Index. Like other reports, this one also brings no good news with it. Afghanistan is among the list of 10 least happy countries. To prepare the report, the network analyzes the connection between development and happiness, annually. The researches collect data from six areas including GDP per capita, generosity, social support, trust, life expectancy, and freedom to make decisions about life. Afghanistan is placed at number four on the list, followed by Benin, Rwanda, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania and Madagascar. Burundi is on top, followed by Syria and Togo.

The story does not end here. We are caught in whirlpool of problems. Escape is not easy because policymakers are clueless how to overcome existing challenges. Many of the problems are germinated by the internal factors and a few by external.  The nation is facing a wide range of issues—one after another. Spirits are high but the way to deal with these challenges is lost. When the government is searching for pleasing opportunities in peace process and diplomacy, another news report tells about staggering numbers of female drug addicts. There are up to 90,000 female addicts in the country.

According to the eye-opening statistics of Ministry of Counter Narcotics, since 2009 the numbers of drug users is on rise. As per the statistics, though not exact and updated, the number of addicts increased from 1.5 million (in 2010) to 3.5 million. There were over three and a half million addicts in 2015. Some of them are in the category of ‘passive addicts’ as they are exposed to the harmful substances. Thousands of children are placed in this category.

Sadly, majority of the addicts are young people, under the age of 39.

The problem is both social and political. The problem has social cause because its root is found in the family system which is basic unit of a society. Male members of the family, who are addicts, encourage female members to use drugs. Furthermore, media, teachers, elders and religious scholars are not playing their role. If they were speaking against this evil then the addicts’ numbers would have been far less. Similarly, the government has enforced the laws only in letters. Poppy cultivation and opium smuggling is order of the day. There is also need for establishment of more rehabilitation centers as the 108 centers in the country are not meeting the requirements. Only eight centers are for female addicts. If steps were not taken, the number of female addicts will increase further.

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