Rolla Ghani: Illicit Drugs, Terrorism/ Both At Same Level of Threats

(Last Updated On: September 8, 2015)

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Afghanistan first lady, Rolla Ghani says that if Afghan residents do not mobilized and combat against this deadly phenomenon, we will lose a large number of our youths.

Rolla Ghani voiced concern over counter narcotics in the country, saying the number of addicts become more by each day passing in Afghanistan.

“If we do not mobilize today and fight against this phenomenon, it would cause the lost of many of our youths,” Afghanistan first lady, Rolla Ghani said.

The number of drug users in Afghanistan is estimated to be as high as 1.6 million, or about 5.3 percent of the population, among the highest rates in the world.

Nationwide, one in 10 urban households has at least one drug user, according to a recent report from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

In a country troubled by adversity, from its long-running war to rampant corruption, drug addiction ranks low among national priorities.

Government funding for treatment and outreach is less than $4 million a year. There are just under 28,000 formal treatment slots available nationwide, officials say, and such programs rely heavily on roughly $12 million a year in extra international funding for treatment.

Experts say the addiction rates are largely driven by surging poppy cultivation across Afghanistan, along with the proliferation of laboratories within the country that refine the opium paste into heroin.

Afghan farmers have grown opium poppies for generations, but the vast majority of the drug was exported and relatively few Afghans consumed it.

In 2000, the Taliban regime deemed poppy growing un-Islamic and banned the practice. By 2005, though, the Taliban had returned as a predatory militia, hampering eradication and crop substitution programs sponsored by the United States. Production roared back, and domestic heroin use grew with it.




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