Saturday, Jan 31, 2015Saturday, Jan 31, 2015

Chance of a new life for Afghanistan's drug addicts at Kabul clinic

Published on Mar 4, 2014 11:03 AM

KABUL (AFP) - It is a spartan life of dormitory beds, communal eating and prayer, but the Jangalak treatment centre in Kabul offers a rare glimmer of hope for heroin addicts caught in Afghanistan's spiralling drug problem.

About 250 male addicts at a time undergo a 45-day course at the government centre, with 70 per cent of all patients successfully staying off heroin after they leave.

Earlier this year, the United Nations drug and crime agency chief Yury Fedotov described the rapid rise of drug addiction in Afghanistan as a "national tragedy" in a country that is the world's largest producer of opium, the raw form of heroin.

Efforts to cut opium production have failed completely in the 13 years since United States-led forces arrived in Afghanistan, with Taleban insurgents often benefiting from the lucrative trade.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here