Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Number of Drug Addicts on the Rise

It is really tragic to note that neither the production of poppy, nor the curse of drug addiction have been controlled in Afghanistan. Therefore, serious concerns are prevalent both about the use of drug money for terror financing and the increasing number of drug addicts in the country. On Tuesday, July 18th, counter narcotics department revealed in a report that the number of drug addicts in eastern Nangarhar province has increased by 60 percent in the past six years. The department linked growing addiction to poverty, insecurity, easy access to drugs, migration and lack of awareness. This shows the seriousness of the situation that is being promoted by the drug addiction. It is imperative to note that drug addiction, at first, victimizes the addict; but later on, the drug addict destroys public morale, health, safety or welfare of the family and society as a whole.
The drug addicts become dependent upon the drugs in a short duration with gradual increase in the intensity of its use. It is generally believed that the dependence on drug is favored more by regularity of administration or the doze or method of administration. The addict becomes dependent on drug as he is on food. Furthermore, so long as he receives the usual daily supply he does not apparently look as an addict. Even the intimate friends and the members of the family may not notice this habit. However, if an addict does not get the daily supply, clear symptoms known as withdrawal or distress of abstinence symptoms will appear within 10 to 12 hours. The addict would become nervous and restless and might develop acute stomach cramps and his eyes might water and nose run. Later on, he might stop eating and start vomiting frequently, lose weight and have muscular pains in the back and legs. At this stage the addict may develop shakes and at this stage if he does not get the supply he is in for mental and physical torture. The addict would go to any length to get the supply of drug to relive the suffering of withdrawal distress. Once he gets the drug, he would appear normal again.
This physiological and psychological dependence on drugs, with the stage being set for the withdrawal syndrome, makes the addict a serious problem for himself, the family, friends, peer group, relatives and the society at large. As the tolerance of drug is developed by the addict more and more supply is taken to relieve the physiological and psychological symptoms of withdrawal distress. In this way, habit is established, which becomes very difficult to break. 
And, once the addict is totally into the drugs, the miseries start visiting him frequently. Unfortunately, the misery does not remain confined to him alone. He can then transfer the same addiction to others. As, he is not committed or fails to commit to leave drugs, he may urge others to use it, particularly those who are his friends or in his company. It can be observed that mostly the addict practice the use of drugs in form of groups as the groups use may facilitate them even further.
Drug addicts can, afterwards, create many other social issues. Their family lives are disturbed and their relatives are influenced by them to a large extent. If the addicts are married and have children the repercussion may break the whole family. The wives of the addicts mostly suffer the most – they are beaten, their money is stolen and their whole lives are made a hell by their addicted husbands. Their children, on the other hand, remain without facilities and mostly grow up in the atmosphere of violence and discomfort.
Considering the influence of the drugs on the people in our society, it is imperative to design some effective measures to control the situation. Historically speaking, many efforts that were made to treat addiction in the past proved to be unsuccessful. Such efforts were mainly confined to medical and clinical treatment, or punitive measures through law and confinement of the addicts in the prisons.
It is important to design other means to solve the issue. Most importantly, the addicts should be considered as human beings and not criminals or the rejected class of population. They deserve sympathy, love and affection rather than hatred or rejection. They should be treated as patients rather than deviants for the purpose of their rehabilitation into the normal society. The solution must be perceived in the right perspective as it takes place in social situation of primary groups and its solution be sought in the social interaction.
It is very well-said that prevention is better than cure. The teenagers must be watched with great care that their needs, feelings and social requirements are met by the primary groups in a desired and acceptable manner. They may not bank on negative primary peer groups for the unmet social, economic, political and emotional needs. This is the locus of the point that interaction groups of the teenagers should be such that they produce normal and trouble free individuals.