Addicts and Poverty

 Written by: Awista Fazli

According to the information provided by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime in Afghanistan about 6 years ago, about 3 million people are addicted to drugs in this country.

Addicts have many health and social problems and people do not respect them. They also cause economic problems to their families too. AEPO’s writer/producer has talked to some people about this issue.

An addict, a resident of Kapisa province says, “I was a police officer and I am married. When I was addicted to drugs, I faced many problems. I lost my credit at my home and the community. No one believes me. It was not possible for me to fulfill my family expenditures and it was my big problem.”

Raihana, a resident of Laghman province says, “I have a convenient economy but when my husband addicted to drugs, our misery started. We had a car and a rickshaw and my husband sold them. We don’t have a penny to spend on our medication. We have a piece of land in Laghman province and my husband has decided to sell it too and our problems increase every day.”

Why do the addicts’ families face poverty?

Rozana, a resident of Paktia province says, “At the beginning, we had a comfortable life but when my husband got addicted to drugs, our expenses increased. My father-in-law lives abroad. He called and told us why we spend more money. When he got aware of the addiction of my husband, he did not send us money anymore and we faced many problems.”

Frishta, a resident of Kabul city says, “I was a refugee in Iran and when we came back to Afghanistan, my husband got a job as an officer but when we migrated to Pakistan, he got a job in a hotel and there he addicted to drugs and I did too. When we came back from Pakistan, my husband found no job due to his addiction.”

How do some people addict to drugs?

Benafsha, an adviser at the 100 beds hospital for addicts in Kabul city says, “At the beginning, the addicts use drugs rarely and the sellers sell drugs at a low rate but later they increase the price of the drugs and the addicts use more drugs. They spend all the money they have at home and they might not be able to do any physical work and thus face poverty.”

How do people treat the addiction?

Frishta says, “One of our neighbors took me and my husband to one of the health centers for addicts in Kabul city and my daughter found a job in the mentioned center too. Now I and my husband have quitted drugs.”

The resident of Kapisa province says, “I am owed of my wife. She told me that due to my smoking hashish, we don’t have face to our relatives and community. She advised me to quit smoking and she took me to the addicts treatment center and I am getting well.”