KABUL (Pajhwok): A drug addicted couple says their three children disappeared due to their addiction and homelessness.
Rukhshana, 40, who originally hails from Zari district of northern Balkh province, says she was given away to a man in bad marriage eight years ago.
She said her husband was not addicted to drugs before their marriage, but he started using drugs after one year of marital life.
After two years of their marriage, Rukhshana and her husband and four children moved to Kabul where they faced a miserable life.
She said they had no home in Kabul and started begging on the streets from dawn to dusk.
According to Rukhshana, her husband always forced her to find money so that he can purchase drugs.
She broke into tears, saying due to her husband’s addiction, she lost one daughter and two sons.
“My daughter suddenly disappeared, my one son went missing from the road and another son was adopted by the owner of a hotel he worked with,” she explained.
Rukhshana has been hospitalized along with her three-year-old daughter in Khushal Khan’s 15-bed rehabilitation center. She will search for her missing children once she gets rid of addiction to drugs.
Rukhshana, who earns a living through begging, said: “I sit near Baba Mazari square in Kabul city to beg, some days I find 1,000afs, some days even more, but sometimes I make no money.”
She repeatedly denied she and her daughter (Zulikha) were addicted, saying they were transferred to the rehabilitation center because they had no permanent place to live.
However, Dr. Najia Bakhshi, a psychiatrist at the hospital, said: “Zulikha is not directly using drugs but since she had been close to drug addicts, she has symptoms of addiction. She urgently needs treatment because she would expose to addiction if left untreated.”
Bakhshi said that Zulikha had endured a lot of violence and she was mentally unstable.
Najia added: “Addiction has various side effects, if an addicted person faces economic problems then he/she restarts drugs after treatment. Rukhshana will return to addiction because she has no shelter.”
She said when Rukhsana was brought to the hospital for the first time, she was in very bad condition and doctors could not examine her whether she was a direct addict or exposed to addiction, but currently she is in better health condition.
“If a woman is addicted to drugs, it is a bigger problem because she raises children and it affects their lives as well,” Dr. Najia added.
Zulikha is not the only girl facing this fate in Afghanistan, there are many children who got addicted to drugs due to the addiction of their male family members.
Shaista Hakim, another doctor at the rehab center, told Pajhwok Afghan News that most of the addicted women had started using drugs because their husbands were addicts, so their children unwantedly follow in their footsteps.
She said: “Currently 85 addicts are hospitalized, including their children for treatment”.
She added they had problem in hospitalizing and treating more female and child addicts in the rehab center.