This is very sad…what have we wrought…?
KABUL, Afghanistan — Drug addicts as young as a month old. Mothers who calm their children by blowing opium smoke in their faces. Whole communities hooked on heroin with few opportunities for treatment.
Use of opiates such as heroin and opium has doubled in Afghanistan in the last five years, the U.N. said Monday, as hundreds of thousands of Afghans turn to drugs to escape the misery of poverty and war.
Nearly 3 percent of Afghans aged 15 to 64 are addicted to opiates, according to a study by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. The U.N. defines addicts as regular users.
That puts Afghanistan, along with Russia and Iran, as the top three countries for opiate drug use worldwide, according to Sarah Waller, an official of the U.N.’s drug office in Kabul. She said a 2005 survey found about 1.4 percent of Afghan adults were opiate addicts.
The data suggest that even as the U.S. and its allies pour billions of dollars into programs to try to wean the Afghan economy off of drug money, opium and heroin have become more entrenched in the lives of ordinary Afghans. That creates yet another barrier to international efforts to combat the drug trade, which helps pay for the Taliban insurgency. Continue reading…