Friday, September 08, 2006

Drug Abuse on the Rise in the Helmand, Afghanistan

The abuse of drugs in Pakistan, Iran, and now Afghanistan is reason for alarm. Can it reflect the growing sense of dispair in the region? When hope vanishes how can social life be possible?

AFGHANISTAN: Drug abuse on the rise in Helmand
Published: July 27, 2006 (

LASHKAR GAH - Halima's drug addiction started with a toothache. "Some of my relatives told me to put a piece of opium in my mouth to relieve the pain. After a while I soon became addicted to this evil,” the 30-year-old mother-of-four said as she sat in a long queue of women waiting for treatment at a drug addiction clinic in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.

Helmand, the largest opium-producing province in a country that produces nearly 90 percent of the world’s illicit opium, has seen a steady increase in addiction.

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