Public health ministry officials have raised concerns about the alarmingly high number of female drug addicts in Afghanistan, TOLO News reported.
According to officials in Kabul, at least one million women and 100,000 children are drug addicts in the war-torn country.
Last year, officials stated that three million people were addicts, but the new figure, of one million female addicts, could mean the total number is much higher than initially thought.
Shahpor Yusuf, head of the anti-drug department at the public health ministry, at an event to mark International Women’s Day, said the number of child addicts was also extremely high – at 100,000. The children, officials said, were all below the age of 10.
Sunday’s ceremony was held at a drug rehabilitation center in Kabul.
“There are between 900,000 and million women and around 100,000 children who have turned to drugs,” Yusuf said.
A number of women at the ceremony said they turned to drugs as their husbands were addicts.
“I took on drug as my husband was using at home,” Naznin, a woman said.
“Bringing us here (for treatment) will have not results. When we leave here, again we will turn to drug as long as there are smugglers (and dealers). They should be stopped. It is the reality,” Marwa Musavi, another woman said.
Currently, there are at least 20 drug rehabilitation centers across the country that treat women and children. Officials have said however that there are not enough centers to treat women and children.
Last year, statistics released highlighted that Afghanistan has over three million addicts, but that rehabilitation centers have the capacity to help only a small percentage of the total number.
However, the public health ministry’s disclosure indicates that the total number of addicts could be a lot higher than thought if women drug addicts alone total about one million.