Afghanistan has over 2.5mn drug users: Govt

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Kabul, Jan 11 (IANS) Afghanistan has more than 2.5 million drug users, with at least 500,000 of them addicts, figures by the Ministry of Public Health have revealed.

“These 2.5 million people are in 34 provinces of Afghanistan, mostly in villages rather than urban areas,” TOLO News quoted a Ministry official as saying on Friday.

“Widespread precautionary measures are required to curb drug addiction,” he said, adding that job opportunities and facilities for entertainment and sports should be provided for the youth to keep them away from drugs.

The official further said that the capacity of rehabilitation centre nationwide has increased to over 40,000, from a mere 2,000 five years ago.

Kabul has many areas where drug addicts are often seen. One drug addict said they have “easy access” in the capital city.

But the presence of drug addicts in Kabul has created problems for residents.

“People’s belongings are stolen. People have complaints. They are tired of them,” said a resident.

Another said: “There is a need for proper action by the government against drug traffickers.”

Afghanistan has been among the world’s top illicit drug-producing countries, reports TOLO News.

Reports indicate that poppy cultivation and drug trafficking provides a big income source for the Taliban, mainly in the southern and northern parts of the country.

–IANS

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