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Rehabilitation of drug addicts accelerated.

KABUL (PAN): Ministers of public health and counternarcotics on Wednesday told lawmakers they had accelerated the rehabilitation of drug addicts across the country.

Public Health Minister Suraya Dalil, Counternarcotics Minister Zarar Ahmad Muqbil and Deputy Interior Minister Baz Mohammad Ahmadi were summoned by Wolesi Jirga to brief lawmakers on the treatment of addicts.

In cooperation from relevant departments, 35 rehabilitation centres for drug addicts were set up across the country this year, Dalil said. Of them, eight are located in Kabul. "Earlier, we treated about 11,000 drug addicts a year, but now we have the capability of rehabilitating 20,000."

Nearly 9,000 addicts, including 5,000 in Kabul, have been treated over the past nine months, Dalil said, adding 99 centres -- 10 percent of them for women and children -- were currently operational in the country.

Dalil said that 930,000 Afghans were drug addicts, with 230,000 aged between 15 and 60 years using heroin and opium.

Muqbil said they had funds id="mce_marker"4 million (727 million afs) for building rehabilitation centres for drug addicts in each province. The number of drug addicts treated over past two years was equal to those rehabilitated in the past nine years, he claimed.

Although poppy cultivation has been reduced to zero in 17 provinces, Muqbil said 90 pc of the illicit crop was still cultivated in the insecure provinces of Uruzgan, Helmand, Kandahar and Farah. The poppy yield fell by 30 percent in 2012, compared to last year.

Nearly 102 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and police officials were killed and 127 others injured during last year's poppy eradication campaign.

Ahmadi said the population of drug addicts in the country, currently standing at about one million, was growing on a daily basis. Under international law, addicts are treated as sick people, not as criminals. As result, they could not pick them from streets, he said.

mm/mud

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Dec 12, 2012
Words:333
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