Afghanistan accounts for 90 % of the world’s heroin manufacturing

Kabul: With shaved heads, large-sized tunics and a frightened look of prey, drug addicts had been lined up by the Taliban for 45 days of painful withdrawal.

For some, radical raids might probably assist them solid a spell of dependancy.

However for a lot of, investing in Kabul’s Ibn Sina heart will solely mark a short change of surroundings, marked by a brutal strategy to take customers away from their highly effective dependence.

Earlier than the Taliban marched on Kabul on August 15, police within the capital typically arrested addicts and transferred them to the middle.

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Exhibits drug addicts awaiting registration at Avicenna Medical Hospital for drug remedy in Kabul

However since radical Islamists took management, the frequency of raids the place addicts collect appears to have elevated.

Lots of of customers at Pul-e-Sukhta, beneath a bridge in western Kabul, search refuge in unsettled situations, synonymous with harsh medicine and violent crime.

They determine the ambulance on the rehabilitation clinic, and those that can pull themselves out of the fetal abyss hang around on the backside of the garbage-laden Pagman River to keep away from being caught, whereas many are too drunk to get up.

Two Taliban fighters, armed with M16 and AK-47 rifles, Komotos provoke customers with heroin and methamphetamine from their gun barrels as outreach employees combat with males earlier than forcing them.

The uncooked sewage goes immediately into the Bogie River mattress, and the stench of urine, feces, and vomit is heavy within the crowded drug den.

Cushions, blankets, sandbags and tarpaulins make up the Ramshekal camp, which is stuffed with addicts’ belongings: syringes, wraps, foil and pipes.

Gunmen fireplace a number of pictures into the air to assert their energy and shock the addicts, earlier than about 20 persons are rounded up.

Discovery and investigation

Throughout their 45-day rehabilitation within the 1,000-bed heart, the lads spend their time mendacity on beds in massive bedrooms or mendacity within the courtyard, absorbing the autumn solar.

There may be little methadone obtainable to alleviate opium and heroin addicts, and nothing to get rid of the ache of withdrawal for individuals who eliminate meth.

Amal, 36, shuffles within the registration room this morning.

One volunteer, who’s a former addict just like the others who work right here, opens his logbook.

Title? Emal.

Your father’s title Abdul Matin.

Married? Sure. I’ve three youngsters, two women and a boy.

Work? Not at present.

What medicines do you’re taking? Crystal (Math).

Have you ever been right here earlier than Sure, 3 times. That is my fourth. I used to be given go away 10 days in the past.

When Amal leaves, 22-year-old Bilal Ahmed, skinny and irritated, takes a seat. He’s additionally hooked on math, and has appeared earlier than the “One or Two Years In the past” program.

“I am completely happy to be right here,” he tells AFP, wanting across the room with a frightened, provocative look that reveals he is not. “God prepared, we are able to go dwelling in 45 days.”

When males arrive they’re rigorously searched.

“Open your mouth. Large. Carry your tongue,” one other member of the clinic’s employees tells newcomers to examine for medicine earlier than analyzing their footwear and clothes.

In teams of six, they then shuffle right into a tiled constructing by which rain falls.

There their dishevelled khaki tunic and trousers are eliminated and they’re given a packet of shampoo, however no towels.

Once they emerge, dripping, they’re assigned to a group of barbers who shave their heads to cease the previous unfold, however go away their beards.

Some are taken to a five-bed room, whereas others are taken to a bed room the place about 30 males of all ages are already mendacity on prime of their covers.

One performs the bamboo flute in childhood. Different gestures in direction of his mouth present that he’s hungry.

‘Horrible downside’

Poppy cultivation was banned beneath the final Taliban regime within the Nineties, however heroin exports from Taliban-controlled areas earned billions of {dollars} for the extremists through the rebellion in opposition to the US and Western-backed authorities.

With low cost and easy-to-grow poppies, Afghanistan provides about 90 % of the world’s heroin manufacturing.

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Exhibits drug customers taking medicine

Manufacturing of crystal methamphetamine, additionally created from the ephedra plant that grows wild within the nation, has additionally elevated.

In line with anti-narcotics consultants, 11 % of Afghanistan’s 34 million inhabitants are drug customers, with 4 to 6 % addicted.

After returning to energy, the Taliban has promised to not enable the manufacturing of medicine.

“That’s the coverage of the Islamic Emirate,” mentioned Dr. Ahmed Zoher Sultani, head of the middle on the previous U.S. Military base.

For now, the employees on the heart are all working with out pay. Wage has not been paid for 4 months as Afghanistan’s economic system is on the breaking point.

Sultani says he was apprehensive his clinic would shut when the Taliban first seized energy.

“His intentions in direction of us will not be clear,” he advised AFP, including that the nation’s new rulers “rapidly advised us they wished us to proceed.”

In indicators he’s adopting the brand new regime, since mid-August the physician has tied up his western swimsuit and tie for the normal shalwar kameez, and eliminated all the images that stuffed the partitions of his workplace.

“Medication are a horrible downside,” he mentioned.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and has been printed from a syndicated feed.)

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