Amid rising concerns about rates of illegal drug use and addiction around the country, Kabul youths gathered in the capital on Wednesday to donate blood for drug addicts undergoing medical treatment.
“We have come here to donate blood for those drug addicts who are in their primary phase of treatment,” one donor named Hashmatullah told TOLOnews. “Drug addicts are also a part of our society.”
Use of drugs, particularly opium, is highly addictive, and can have both profound short-term and long-term effects on an individual’s life. Impacting more than just the user’s physical health, however, mental health often takes the biggest hit from illicit drug use. In turn, the behavioral changes that are associated with drug addiction often entail major problems for family and friends.
“My father is using drugs, and he injured my cousin with a knife, and when I asked him ‘why you are doing this’, he also injured me with the knife,” the daughter of a drug addict told TOLOnews.
Laili is a drug addicted mother who has two children and her children are also addicted. “I have so much pain on my body and my kids are also addicted,” she said.
Assadullah, another drug addict, from Ghazni province, was taken by his brother to Kabul to seek medical treatment. “My family took me out of my home,” Assadullah said. “I have to steal and beat people in order to find money; first money for drugs, then for food.”
The Pul-e-Sokhta area in western Kabul is where a large number of addicts spend their days and nights. Reportedly some 3KG of drugs are sold in the neighborhood on a daily basis.
“An addicted man has no place among family […] everyone hates us – where we should go?” an addict living in Pol-e-Sokhta told TOLOnews.
Drug addiction is considered a medical condition by the medical community, which means it can be treated and ameliorated with the help of therapy and medicine.