Drug Addiction in Kabul – A Photo Essay

This is via Eurasianet.org. (My tenth follower on Twitter.)

It is a photo essay by Monique Jaques, a photographer with a raft of work from Afghanistan, documenting everyday life, in the that country, as well as Turkey and other places. It’s entitled “Afghanistan: Drug Addiction Tough to Beat in Kabul” and it ties in with my current Afghan read: David Macdonald’s Drugs in Afghanistan.

The text which accompanies the piece begins with this pair of sentences: “Not only is Afghanistan a center of opium production, it has one of the world’s most serious drug addiction problems. An estimated 1 million Afghans, out of a total population of 28 million, are battling substance abuse.”

It is something that I would like to look into for the MPhil that I’m starting in January, although, that is likely to focus more on the Western side of things, and how we might get out, and leave a functioning state, without losing face.

Take a look, it shows well the problems that Afghanistan faces in terms of drug addiction, as well as the steps that are being taken to mitigate the problem. Here is a link to the essay itself.

I hope it makes you think.

Shooting Up

I hadn’t intended to post anything today. And this certainly goes against my self-imposed non-news-chasing edict, but I couldn’t pass this up.

The caption is what really got to me:

“Heroin addicts shoot up while keeping warm by a fire inside the abandoned Russian Cultural Center in Kabul, February, 2009. Afghanistan accounts for more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin supply, and profits from opium fund the Taliban. ‘Maybe the most pathetic aspect of this picture for me,’ Bronstein recalls, ‘is that the fire is fueled with clothing. Addicts are gradually burning their clothes to try and stay warm while shooting up. It just speaks to the utter, complete desperation of this scene—played out every day all over Kabul.'”

Heroin addiction is a serious problem for Afghans. It is easy, from an Outsider’s point of view to see it as a solely Western problem. It is a problem for us, but it’s not nearly as serious here as it is in Kabul and other places in Afghanistan.

Here is a link

I can’t figure out how to get this picture onto the page, if anyone can offer advice on that, I’d be grateful.