KABUL, May 4 (Xinhua) — Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday termed illicit drug as a national problem and called upon Afghans to stand along with the government in fighting the menace.
“Like poverty, the problem of drug in society is a national problem and a serious challenge,” Ghani said while inaugurating a drug treatment center, the National Rehabilitation Center Omid, according to a statement of Presidential Palace.
In the drug treatment center established in Phoenix, a U.S. military compound in the eastern edge of Kabul that housed units of U.S. force during the presence of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) until their withdrawal in late 2014, the addicts besides receiving medical treatment would also be given vocational training, the statement said.
Lashing at drug producers, drug trafficking and its suppliers, the president said that a small group has taken hostage 3 million Afghan citizens to fill their own pockets, calling upon all Afghans to get united and help the government in its war against illegal drug in the country.
According to officials, more than 1.5 million Afghans are addicted to drugs, however, the number of drug users in Afghanistan, according to unofficial sources, is around 3 million including women and children, a figure doubled since 2010.
The economically impoverished nation as a major producer of illegal drugs harvested 3,300 tons of opium poppies in 2015, according to a report of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released last December.
However, the president noted that the problem of drug is an “international problem” and international drug traffickers take the benefit from the easy profitable business of the drug trafficking.
The militancy-plagued Afghanistan is among the major opium poppy producing nations and reportedly supplies around 90 percent of the raw materials used in making heroin to the world.
Some 1,500 drug addicts have already shifted to the newly inaugurated rehabilitation center, the National Rehabilitation Center Omid, according to officials.
The number of drug addicts obviously is on constant rise in Afghanistan even in the capital city Kabul as bunches of drug users are seen roaming in each corner of Kabul especially under the bridges of Kabul river.