Drug Abuse and Treatment Centers in Afghanistan
Feb 5, 2013
Drug Abuse and Treatment Centers in Afghanistan
The issue of narcotic drugs production and consumption is worsening in Afghanistan which threatens the security and hinders the development. Afghanistan as the largest opium-producing country in the world produces 94% of the world’s opiates and thus has 920,000 illicit drug users. Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) and many other major organizations such as International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), UNODC and Colombo Plan aim to eliminate opium and illicit drugs’ cultivation, production, trafficking and addiction in Afghanistan through different programs. As an example, INL has taken actions to decrease drug demand by establishing treatment centers in many provinces of Afghanistan. Specifically, this paper aims to analyze interventions in drug addicts’ lives by Nejat as a male and Sanga Amaj as a female drug treatment center from an ethical point of view. Throughout the intervention, these two centers have overlooked issues related to women, social stigmatization and problems of forced treatment. Despite its deficiencies, intervention by Nejat and Sanga Amaj significantly contributes to drug abusers’ human rights and also the security and development of Afghanistan and thus benefits both individuals and the society. First of all, Sanga Amaj and Nejat promote the Human Right to Health by providing access to drug treatment and also aiming to decrease and prevent negative health consequences of drug abuse. Right to health is the economic, social and cultural right of everyone to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health. Sanga Amaj and Nejat help drug users to lead healthy lives by decreasing the “mental and physical health problems,” that drug usage poses to their lives. HIV Aids, Hepatitis B, social exclusion and suicides among drug users are some of the main examples of physical and psychological harms of drug usage mainly among injecting addicts. According to an HIV report in Afghanistan, “almost all the known cases of HIV infection in Afghanistan today are due to injecting drug use”, thus drug use treatment will save a great number of injecting drug users’ lives. Besides, treating drug users, a socially excluded and marginalized group affected by drug addiction, and bringing them back to live ‘normal’ and healthy lives in their societies like everyone else help them overcome the psychological problems posed by addiction. Usually, drug abusers live in hostile and unclean places like under bridges and garbage piles that are unhealthy habitats and cause varieties of other diseases especially caused by bacteria. By providing treatment facilities to drug abusers and thus eliminating and preventing all these health disadvantages, Sanga Amaj and Nejat support health well-being of the society overall. Secondly, Sanga Amaj and Nejat contribute to promote the security in individuals’ lives which promotes the security of everyone and of the country. The diseases that develop in relation to drug abuse (HIV, Hepatitis and other diseases including mental disorders) are all a threat not only in drugs users’ lives but also to individual, national and human health and financial security. Besides, according to studies, drug consumption causes “poverty, violence and criminal behavior” in a certain society which poses severe economical and social insecurity not only to drug users’ lives but also their families and the society. Many road and domestic accidents, drug crimes, and death because of overdose are due to drug usage. Such as, it is common that drug abusers commit crimes such as they steal money for buying drugs. Besides, insecurity and disorder due to drug trafficking and crimes becomes the bases for corruption, insecurity and illegal drug smuggling and poverty in society which affects everyone. Thus, these treatment centers’ intervention promotes the protection of drug users’...
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