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Ghor drug addicts seek return to normal life

Ghor drug addicts seek return to normal life

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15 Mar 2022 - 12:07
Ghor drug addicts seek return to normal life
author avatar
15 Mar 2022 - 12:07

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FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): A number of drug addicts have complained about the closure of a 20-bed hospital in western province, urging the government to reopen the facility.

Fazal Haq, 32, became addicted to crystal meth about six years ago. He said he slipped into drug addiction while working in Iran.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News addiction had taken him away from his home and life and put him in a really difficult situation.

Haq added: “I was in Iran with friends who were already addicted. They persuaded me to use drugs. Eventually, I did so.”

The young man commented; “As you see, I’m in a pitiable situation. I have no idea about my wife and children. I spend my time roaming around streets. Life has become very difficult for me.””

Haq said the rehab was closed three months ago. Subsequently, he rejoined other addicts on the street. Their access to drugs is easy.

“When the hospital was shut, we were taken out. They say they have no food for us. No one listens to us anymore.

“We have turned to addiction and it is very difficult living in such a situation. Everyone brings us drugs and that is what has ruined our lives,” he lamented.

Sitting with other addicts, he said: “Please. treat us, we want to return to normal life.”

Jamshid, another junkie, said he had returned to drugs after being kicked out of hospital.

“After being discharged from hospital, some of us relapsed into drug addiction. Day in and day out, we sit under a bridge and live there in harsh conditions.”

The addicts want provincial and central authorities to revive rehabilitation services at the provincial hospital.

They want to get rid of the curse through medical treatment. Almost all addicts desire to return to normal life.

Officials of the 20-bed rehab linked the suspension of services to the non-availability of funds.

Dr. Mohammad Omar Lalzad, head of the hospital, said: “This health facility has been shut for the past three months.”

He said they did not have funds to treat patients who needed to be hospitalised. As a result, patients are advised to take medicines at home.

“Another problem we have to deal with is that our staff has been without pay. However, we hope this hospital will resume operations soon.”

Lalzad warned many young people could seek refuge in drugs if the health centre did not resume operations.

According to him, they have shared the problems of the hospital with local and central government officials.

Public health officials acknowledge problems at the health centre but say they are striving to reactivate the centre at the earliest possible.

Dr. Abdul Latif Rahimi, public health director, said: “We don’t have addicts in hospital. As you are aware, there are many addicts in the city. We have shared the issue with higher-ups and hope to revive the hospital by March 21 to treat addicts.”

Health officials say a survey was conducted by the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the province seven years ago. The survey estimated the number of drug addicts in the province at 50,000.

sa/mud

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