Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, December 01, 2006

Afghanistan forced to face growing drug problem with insufficient international support

“Look at me and you will know what has happened to Afghanistan,” an Afghani heroin-addict stated in a recent Belfast Telegraph article. Afghanistan, the world’s largest heroin supplier, is experiencing a substantial increase in heroin addicts. Although probably an underestimate, figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime indicate that roughly four percent of Afghans are drug addicts of some kind. Many Afghans began their relationship with heroin in foreign refugee camps, and continue use even after their return to Afghanistan.

Equally as troubling are the high number of reported AIDS cases – many, a direct result of a heroin addiction. In fact, many of the drug users have received no education about the potential problems of sharing needles. Even those that know the risks of needle sharing choose to continue in order to avoid the cost of new needles.

Hospitals in Afghanistan are drastically under funded; some only working with a fourth of the budget needed to minimally run their facilities. While Afghanistan is the main topic at the current NATO summit in Riga and billions of dollars are delegated for reconstruction, there is minimal funding marked for drug treatment and fighting AIDS.

For the full article, click here.


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