In a significant stride towards addressing drug addiction amongst women in Afghanistan, the Anti-Narcotics Department of the Ministry of Interior has reported the transfer of around 500 female addicts to treatment centers in the past six months. The department's head, Haseebullah Ahmadi, disclosed that 450 addicted women and 250 children have benefitted from treatment across the country during this period.
A Lifeline Amidst Addiction
The department's operations extend beyond the central zones, treating approximately 20,000 drug addicts every three months. Meanwhile, women undergoing treatment in Kabul's centers are looking beyond their addiction, seeking a stable shelter for life post-rehabilitation. A prime example is Ayesha (a pseudonym), a 38-year-old woman in treatment with her three children, who, like many others, is concerned about the approaching winter and the risk of relapse if unable to secure a spot in the hospital.
Underlying Causes and Challenges Ahead
Economic issues, family problems, mental health issues, and easy access to drugs are the leading reasons behind the addiction crisis. Despite the lack of updated data on the country's female addicts, a 2018 study estimated that out of 3.5 million addicts in Afghanistan, 58,000 are women and children. These statistics underscore the importance of the ministry's initiative. But treatment centers face daunting challenges, including lack of electricity and water, impairing their ability to provide care. The Ministry of Public Health recognizes the need for more recent and accurate data on this critical issue.
Looking Beyond Borders
Simultaneously, the Islamic Emirate is exploring growth opportunities to bolster the Afghan economy. The authorities are aiming to increase trade through railway routes and the Chabahar port, opening new avenues for economic development. This dual approach of addressing social issues while promoting economic growth underscores Afghanistan's efforts to create a healthier and more prosperous society.