We all know by now about the huge drug problem in the United States.But,I have never heard of an drug epidemic that involved the whole family getting hooked.That is exactly what is happening in Afghanistan.Here’s an excerpt from an appalling story of addiction taken from freep.com:
“Open the door to Islam Beg’s house and the thick opium smoke rushes out into the cold mountain air, like steam from a bathhouse. It’s just past 8 a.m. and the family of six — including a 1-year-old boy — is already curled up at the lip of the opium pipe.
Beg, 65, breathes in and exhales a cloud of smoke. He passes the pipe to his wife. She passes it to their daughter. The daughter blows the opium smoke into the baby’s tiny mouth. The baby’s eyes roll back into his head.Their faces are gaunt. Their hair is matted. They smell.
In dozens of mountain hamlets in this remote corner of Afghanistan, opium addiction has become so entrenched that whole families — from toddlers to old men — are addicts. The addiction moves from house to house, infecting entire communities cut off from the rest of the world by glacial streams.
From just one family years ago, at least half the people of Sarab, population 1,850, are now addicts.Afghanistan supplies nearly all the world’s opium, the raw ingredient used to make heroin, and while most of the deadly crop is exported, enough is left behind to create a vicious cycle of addiction.
There are at least 200,000 opium and heroin addicts in Afghanistan — 50,000 more than in the much bigger, wealthier United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a 2005 survey by the UN. A new survey is expected to show even higher rates of addiction, a window into the human toll of Afghanistan’s back-to-back wars and desperate poverty.
Unlike in the West, the close-knit nature of communities here makes addiction a family affair. Instead of passing from one rebellious teenager to another, the habit passes from mother to daughter, father to son. It’s turning villages like this one into a landscape of human depredation.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.
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