From opium fields to city streets: The devastating impact of drugs on Kabul
Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located on the shores of the Kabul River. Despite its rich history and cultural heritage, the city faces a number of challenges, including a serious drug problem. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, with a record-breaking 328,000 hectares cultivated in 2017. 80% of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan, and the drug is also a major issue for the local population, with 9% of the population being addicted.
In the eastern part of the city, under the Pul-e-Sukhta bridge, drug use is rampant, with people of all ages using a variety of drugs. The area is characterized by a terrible stench, as those who die are left to rot among excrement and decomposing waste. The situation is made worse by the fact that the Taliban capture drug addicts and lock them up in the “recovery center” Ibn Sina, which is a real gulag monitored by armed Taliban. The prisoners are left in terrible conditions, with no medical support, to fight withdrawal while suffering from cold and hunger.
The drug problem in Kabul is a humanitarian crisis, affecting not only the drug addicts themselves but also their families and the wider community. The lack of proper treatment and support for those who are addicted exacerbates the problem and increases the risk of death and disease. The government and international organizations must work together to address this issue and provide access to effective treatment and support for those who need it.