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Plight of Afghan women drug addicts

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 02:11

April 04 - Kabul drug clinic lifts the veil on the plight of Afghanistan's female drug addicts. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Najya Jan visits this drugs rehabilitation clinic in Kabul in secret. She says the U.N-funded Nejat centre has helped her over her heroin addiction. Now she smokes opium instead. SOUNDBITE: NAJYA JAN, DRUG ADDICT, SAYING (Dari): "My husband was addicted to drugs in Iran. When he returned to Afghanistan he smoked in the room in front of us and my children and I became addicted. We had to use drugs or our bodies would hurt and only drugs could reduce the pain." Afghanistan's government reckons the nation has about a million opium and heroin users. How many are women is difficult to establish. Officials at the Nejat Centre believe there are about 60, 000 female users of illegal drugs including marijuana. In a nation where women often need male permission to leave the home, getting help for drug addiction is a serious problem. SOUNDBITE: SHAPERAI JAN, DRUG ADDICT, SAYING (Dari): "During the internal conflicts in Afghanistan we had economic problems and we were induced into using opium by our neighbours to help reduce the suffering and pain of war. That's why we're addicted to opium." Nejat Centre Project Manager Mohammad Aman Raufi says migrant workers and refugees returning from Iran and Pakistan after decades of conflicts is behind the rise in female drug users. SOUNDBITE: MOHAMMAD AMAN RAUFI, NEJAT CENTRE PROJECT MANAGER, SAYING (Dari): "We're trying to reduce the use of drugs but we don't have enough facilities and we've noticed that the number of drug users is increasing day by day because some Afghan migrants who've returned from Iran are addicted to drugs." Iran has the second highest rate of heroin abuse on the planet behind Afghanistan, which produces all but a tenth of the world's opium. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Plight of Afghan women drug addicts

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 02:11