The deputy minister of counter-narcotics on Thursday said that poppy cultivation and drug smuggling has increased by 45 percent in Afghanistan this year compared to the same period last year.
Authorities in Afghanistan said that poppy is currently cultivated on over 200,000 hectares of land in different regions of the country and that Afghanistan still produces 80 percent of the world's opium.
Meanwhile, the deputy ministry of interior on Thursday burned 67 metric tons of drugs in Kabul.
“We burned some heroin, morphine, poppy, hashish and alcohol that is used in the production of heroin,” said Wahidullah Kalimzai, deputy minister of counter narcotics.
“The structure of the commando forces must be expanded so that we are able to prevent smuggling by air and ground monitoring,” said Hashem Alokozai, a senator.
There are thousands of drug addicts currently on the streets.
Ali is an addict who has been using the drug for the past 20 years.
“They are not treating it in the right way, they just keep us there for a specific period of time,” said Ali, referring to treatment programs for addicts.
The Afghan Ministry of Public Health said that currently there are around 3.5 million addicts in Afghanistan.
“The difference in the numbers between 2009 and 2016—900,000 in 2009 and 3.5 million now--indicates a rising trend,” said Zahir Sultani, the head of Ibn-e-Sina hospital.
Over the past two decades, the US allocated $8 billion to counter the drug problem in Afghanistan.