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Unemployment, easy access to drug main factors behind return to addiction: Report

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MoCN) in a report released on Tuesday said that unemployment and easy access to drugs are the main factors behind return of people to addiction after rehabilitation.

At least 465 people in 39 addicts’ rehabilitation centers have been interviewed in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, Badakhshan and Nangarhar provinces during the survey.

The Minister of Counter Narcotics, Salamat Azimi, said that after the rehabilitation, 22 percent of people have been pushed back into drug addiction by unemployment, 19 percent by friendship with addicts and 16 percent by easy access to drugs.

Speaking at the function, she said that 55 percent of the interviewed people responded that they returned back into use of drug in the first 90 days after treatment. She said that 44 percent of the interviewed addicts had been rehabilitated several times.

Findings of the survey shows that 52 percent (244 people) of the 465 addicts were illiterate, 20 percent of them had basic education, 6 percent had med-level education, six percent were high school graduates, and the remaining four percent of them were holding bachelor degrees.

The minister highlighted that the survey was aimed at finding reasons for return of people to drug addiction after rehabilitation.

“The MoCN in collaboration with other related organs will strive hard to overcome the challenges, leading to drug addiction,” she added.

She insisted that devising new policies to cope with the issue will be on top priority of the ministry in its 100-day action plan.

Deputy of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA), Wasel Noor Mohmand, said that the ministry had the plan to establish vocational training complexes for drug addicts across the country but due to lack of budget, it could build only one vocational center in Helmand province.

He said that even this one is also not equipped with the necessary equipments. “The ministry will enroll all the rehabilitated people in the training centers without any entrance exam,” he added.

According to report, the number of drug addicts has increased to three million people in Afghanistan and over 108 rehabilitation centers are currently active across the country, which can rehabilitate around one percent of the addicts.

It is pertained to mention that even in the capital city of Kabul, people have easy access to drugs. Pul-e- Sokhta, Jangalak, Qal-e-Zamankhan are the well-known places for selling of drug.

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