Charity starts treatment of drug addicts

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): For the first time in eastern Nangarhar province, a charity has started free treatment of drug addicts and has so far treated 25 people.
Another 40 people are under treatment with the private Ikhlas Charity Foundation being run with cooperation and assistance of Afghans living abroad.
Local authorities in Nangarhar appreciate the initiative and assure to increase services at the government hospital for treatment of drug addicts.
Ikhlas Charity Foundation head Mohammad Ibrahim Bawri told Pajhwok Afghan News on Thursday that their foundation was being supported by Afghan expatriates.
Their foundation started working five months ago and has so far treated 25 addicts and about 40 people are still under treatment.
“We provide five types of services that include full examination of the patient, medication, accommodation, 24-hour doctor services and food.”
He said they also provided monthly assistance to families of some addicts along with their treatment in the first category. In the second category, only free treatment is provided and in the third category, patients are treated against a small fee, he added.
Bawri said addicts often returned to their habit of using drugs after treatment because they had no job or business.
In order to solve this problem, he said, they were planning to provide work opportunities to the addicts after treatment in future so that they could avoid a relapse.
Ajmal, one of the under treatment addicts, a resident of Khost province, said he first got addicted to snuff in company of his friends, then turned to cigarettes, hashish and heroin.
“Initially I used drugs secretly, but then my father came to know about it. He advised me to quit other drugs and only smoke hashish with him, now we both are receiving treatment in this center.”
Ajmal’s father Jamal said after knowing about the treatment center, he came to it with his son and now they were under treatment.
Nangarhar provincial officials appreciated the initiative.
Nangarhar Public Health Department spokesman Naqibullah Rahimi said privately no one had previously taken such an action in Nangarhar and therefore his department and security organs were fully cooperating with the charity.
He said a 100-bed government hospital for treatment of drug addicts existed in Nangarhar, where 1,100 addicts received treatment last year. He said they were trying to increase facilities at the hospital in the future.