UN reports rise in Afghan drug addicts

A new UN study says the number of drug addicts in Afghanistan has sharply increased in recent years, making the country a leading consumer of opium and its derivatives.

The report released Monday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says nearly 3 percent of Afghan adults are addicted to opiates, twice as many as five years ago, as hundreds of thousands of Afghans turn to narcotics to ease the hardships of poverty and war.

Deputy Chief of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Robert Watkins said while releasing the report in Kabul that the growing addiction problem in Afghanistan is having a devastating effect on social development in the country.

“The report shows that between 12 and 41 percent of Afghan police recruits test positive for some kind of drug addiction. Clearly, we are not just concerned about the safety, security and well being of those individuals, but we are concerned about the safety, security and well being of an entire nation,” Watkins said.


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