Rising Addiction Rates in Afghanistan

An Afghan woman is behind her headgear

While addiction is a prominent problem in the United States, it’s important to recognize that it is something that goes far beyond our borders, and is truly a global epidemic. Addiction is an issue that is pronounced all over the world. One area of the world that has a particular effect on addiction everywhere might surprise a lot of people: Afghanistan, the source of 90% of the world’s heroin. Afghanistan is no stranger to its own issues with addiction. Here is some information about the rising addiction rates in Afghanistan…

Particularly bad for women

The rate of addiction amongst women in Afghanistan is tied to other gender issues that pervade the country’s sociological landscape. The lack of education for women in Afghanistan, as well as the fact that many women get married at an incredibly young age, contribute to an environment that makes it difficult for women who develop a substance dependency to have the resources to fight it. This has led to a situation where the female addiction rate in Afghanistan is 13%.

Most hard opioids come from Afghanistan

Part of the reason that addiction rates have climbed in Afghanistan is economic. Poverty is widespread throughout the country. However, it also has to do with the fact that so many dangerous drugs are readily available in the country. As we stated above, 90% of all heroin in the world comes from Afghanistan, where the country’s copious amounts of poppy fields produce ample amounts of opium, which can be synthesized to heroin. Because of this fact, heroin and opium and relatively cheap in the country, while drugs for treatment are not.

Lack of treatment options

As easy as it is for a person to get heroin in Afghanistan and develop a dependency, it is equally as difficult for a person to get treatment. There simply are not a lot of options or facilities for people who are struggling with addiction that are readily accessible, especially if you don’t come from a wealthier family. There are even less facilities that cater to women, which is devastating in a country that so heavily segregates their genders.