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Editorial: Cash crop

Copying with drug production and drug addicts is an overwhelming challenge for the Afghan government. Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of drug use in the world, with an estimated three million addicts, around 10 percent of our population of 30 million. The government and related organization has been struggling to provide services to cure drug addicts and also to destroy lands cultivated drugs. But, at somehow it is difficult as numbers of drug addicts due to several reasons—the core one unemployment, has been on the rise in the country, which is the world’s main source of opium and heroin. Afghanistan’s opium poppy production goes into around 90 percent of heroin worldwide. A very bad news, but should not forget that this virus has been on the rise since US entered Afghanistan in 2001. The Afghan government has been making efforts to destroy lands cultivated with poppy, and also setting up rehabilitation center of addicts, in which several addicts cured and reintegrate into normal live. There is need to remove the name of greatest illicit opium producer from Afghanistan. Despite Taliban insurgents, some other big wings such as warlords, drug traffickers taking drug production as lucrative business as they earn millions of millions dollars. Taliban insurgents taxes poppy production in areas it controls, which is a major source of income for its military activates against Afghan and foreign forces. Unfortunately, most of the victims are Afghan civilians. Defiantly, growing opium is a crime, but a major cash crop for impoverished farming communities. The National Unity Government has a stated policy of eradicating poppy crops, but crop is widespread in many areas, and officials are often accused of turning a blind eye. So there is some problem within officials as well. Counter-narcotic ministry is doing all out efforts to bring the level of drug production and drug addicts down. It is truly appreciable. But much more needs to be done. For instance, if one roams around Kabul city, leaving provinces, especially below the Pol-e-Sokhta bridge on western parts of the Kabul city, he/she would find tens of homeless drug addicts live in squalor. But at the same time it is a great to hear a group of 200 drug addicts was discharged from a rehabilitation center in Kabul on Tuesday upon completing a three-month treatment course. Another group of 200 junkies collected from various parts of the Kabul city were transferred t the centre after the previous group was discharged. These no more drug addicts are in dire need of love and support of their family. Now it’s up to their family members whether tighten hands or show hatter to lead them (ex-drug addicts) back into dark addiction. Moreover, we are thankful from related officials, and Kabul police for fanning out across Kabul and under the city’s bridges, to round up drug addicts and try and get them help. This is aimed at taking drug addicts to rehab center where they spend three months before to reunite with their families. However, the most irritating is when 11 members of addicts’ families detained for transferring drugs to the addicts under treatment. Very much shameful act, this is out of expectation. According to information from the Ministry of counter-narcotics, the level of reverting back drug is between 60 and 80 percent across the country. Drug addiction once mostly limited to men who spent years as laborers or refugees in Iran, has now exploded into a nationwide scourge that affects millions of people, including women and children. It is time for all of us to jointly struggling to free Afghanistan from poppy cultivation and addicts. We should not see over quantity of problems, which is very much, rather we should keep hard working until recovering our fellow addicts.

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