Central & South Asia

For Drug Addicts in Kabul, Life and Death Are Never Far Apart


© Sadeq Naseri

December 21, 2014 08:36 EDT

Drug addiction is having a devastating effect on Afghan society. [To view the photo feature, click on the mini gallery below.]

In addition to economic challenges and insurgent violence, Afghanistan is facing a growing drug problem. As the world’s leading opium producer, it is likely the situation will deteriorate after international troops leave Afghanistan.

But while the main focus is on Afghanistan’s supplying over 90% of the world’s heroin, few talk of the drugs that are not exported. The number of heroin (and other opiates) addicts has increased in Kabul and other big cities like Mazar-e-Sharif, Qandahar, Hirat and Nimrooz, where access to drugs is incredibly easy. In a country of 30 million, 10% of Afghans aged 15 to 64 are estimated to be drug users, with a devastating effect on Afghan society, and its children in particular.

Afghanistan is fraught by violence – especially against women – corruption and terrorism. After the War on Terror, the Taliban’s continued offensive and increasing opium cultivation, what future is there for the next generation?

Every day, I pass the Sokhta Bridge in the western part of Kabul, where addicts live in inhuman conditions.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

All images © Sadeq Naseri


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