Afghanistan stares at health crisis
Afghanistan is staring at a massive public health crisis with more than 3 million drug addicts, with women constituting one-third of it and 100,000 of whom are children below 10 years of age. The problem stems from the fact that Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of poppy opium, which is used to make heroin and there is no sign of a decline in its production. In fact, the UN says that opium production in the country actually rose 87% in 2017 from 2016. The increase is attributed to a rapid expansion of territory used to cultivate poppy, encourage by the Taliban as it profits from its cultivation.
The main reason for women to pick up the habit is that they take it from the men in their families. Reuters news agency reported in 2012 that Afghanistan’s female narcotics problem had begun to fill the country’s largest women’s prison, Badam Bagh. At the present, there are only 20 drug rehabilitation centers in the country to treat women and children.