Over 1 million Afghans suffers from drug addiction: UN report

16:41, June 21, 2010      

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Over 1 million Afghans, eight percent of whole population of the country, have been suffering from drug addiction, according to a report released by United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in Kabul on Monday.

"Around one million Afghans (age 15-64) suffer from drug addiction," said the report based on a survey conducted by UNODC and the Afghan government.

"After three decades of war-related trauma, unlimited availability of cheap narcotics and limited access to treatment have created a major, and growing, addiction problem in Afghanistan,"the report stressed.

During the past five years, the report said that in Afghanistan, the number of regular opium user has jumped 53 percent from 150, 000 to 230,000 while the number of heroin users has increased from 50,000 to 120,000, a leap of 140 percent.

One of the most shocking statistics in the report is the number of parents who give opium to their children as high as 50 percent in the north and south of the country and "this risks condemning the next generation of Afghans to a life of addiction,"the report quoted UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa as saying.

Only 10 percent of drug users surveyed had received any form of drug treatment, although 90 percent of them felt that they were in need of it, finding of the report shows. "Much has been said, and written, about Afghanistan as a leading producer of drugs, causing health havoc in the world. It is time to recognize that the same tragedy is taking place in Afghanistan, that has now become a leading consumer of its own opium," Costa said.

Although Afghanistan's 20 out of 34 provinces are still the country produces over 90 percent of the raw material used in manufacturing heroin in the world, according to officials.

Source: Xinhua


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