WHAT WAR BRINGS: drug addiction
There are multiple causes of the growth and development of a drug addiction population in a war zone. The break down in security and the easier availability of drugs is one major factor. The pain that comes from living in an occupied country – psychological and emotional pain, plus the lack of health care, food and even adequate warmth in winter, also contribute greatly to a drug addiction problem.
And it is often a problem for an entire family, even the children.
Earlier this month, jimstaro wrote a diary on drug addiction in
In a report from IRIN (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks) from this past July, several carpet weavers in Afghanistan talk about their opium habit, and how it allows them to work longer, ease pains, keep their children quiet, and hold off hunger pains.
Opium addiction among rural women has been exacerbated by a lack of access to health services either due to cultural restrictions or dearth of health centres, say health workers. “Women use opium not for fun or luxury but as the only available painkiller to them,” said Mahbooba Ebadi, an obstetrician in
It is unclear how many Afghan women use opium, but a 2005 addiction survey by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) put the number of adult female drug users in the country at 120,000. At least 900,000 Afghans were estimated to be drug addicts out of a population of 25 million in 2005.
Opium is one of the biggest problems facing this troubled country, because it is deeply woven into the fabric of daily life as well as into the economics of insurgency.
Yet the government ban on opium is working at best unevenly. In areas of the country under Taliban control, opium production is going strong. In government-held areas such as Shahran, it has gone down drastically, but at the cost of the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people. Their anger is imperiling government support in one of the few areas of the country that has resisted the Taliban's advance.
……Two years ago, opium, the raw ingredient used to make heroin, grew on nearly half a million acres in
[Note: the Taliban have other sources of funding than the opium (like forcing people to pay protection money) which are bringing in more money than the opium. Corruption is rampant in
A story by the AP from earlier this month talks about how the addiction is passed down from one generation to the next. But if a picture can speak a thousand words, then the picture on this post explains it all.
Patients, most ages 20 and 30, are addicted to everything from alcohol to Valium and cough syrup, says Adel Ja'afer Abdul Sahib, the hospital's deputy director. Addiction in
Ahmed, 12, is one of them. "Smoking marijuana makes me happy even being orphan," the child, who has lost his parents to the bloody violence, told IslamOnline.net. "I like to feel the sensation that, for a period of time, can help me forget all the problems I have," said Ahmed, not his real name. "I do it as much as I want, until I feel safe again just like I used to feel before my parents were killed."
An Iraqi psychologist claims in that article that there were no drug addicted children prior to the
UNICEF reports have warned that drug addiction is becoming more of a phenomenon amongst Iraqi children. There has been a 30 percent increase in addiction among children since 2005, according to specialists. Since last year alone, the number of child addicts jumped by nearly 10 percent, they estimate.
It appears that the drug addiction problem is worse in
If you support the continued occupation of
Please note –
Since this series of WHAT WAR BRINGS is about civilians, I did not mention the growing drug addiction in US troops who were stationed in
And I would predict that