Afghanistan faces massive drug problem; women and children severely affected

The Hush Post: A massive health crisis looms large in Afghanistan with over three million drug addicts, a million of whom are women and over one lakh children below the age of 10. This is as per a report in Tolo News.

While these figures are for 2017, the figures this year could be much higher. What is shocking for health officials is that so many women in the country are hooked to drugs. Afghani women mostly pick up the habit from the men in their families.

Afghanistan is the largest opium producer of the world

Afghanistan does have the unique distinction of being the world’s largest producer of poppy opium used to make heroin. As per the United Nations opium production in Afghanistan rose 87% in 2017 from 2016. Several women told Tolo News they turned to drugs as their husbands were addicts.

Reuters news agency had reported in 2012 that the rampant problem of women using drugs in Afghanistan had reached the country’s women’s prisons as well. At that time, of the 164 women prisoners housed there, 64 were opium and heroin users. That number is estimated to have skyrocketed now.

At present the country houses 20 drug rehabilitation centres across the country which solely treat women and children. Though it is being seen that most users are moving back to drugs once they leave the rehabilitation centres.

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