At least 45 drug addicts have died in Herat province due to exposure to severe cold so far this winter, officials said on Monday.
Officials added that the drug addicts who live in Herat city come from various provinces across the country.
In recent days, around 3,500 drug addicts have been rounded up by relevant institutions in Herat and have been sent to rehabilitation centers.
“This year, 45 drug addicts have died since the cold season began, and we have started the process of collecting drug addicts,” said Hayatullah Rouhani, head of the counter-narcotics department at Herat Police Command.
Drug addicts expressed gratitude for being saved from the cold and express a desire for therapy and a return to normal life.
“It is enough. I have repented. I want to recover for a few days and worship Allah,” said Safdar, a drug addict.
“I’m delighted they got us here and we’re getting treatment. It was chilly outside,” said Mohammad Rasool, another drug addict.
Around 22 private rehabilitation centers are operating in the city of Herat and some districts in the province.
Locals, businesspeople, and governmental organizations all are contributing financially to the treatment of addicts in rehab centers, according to officials.
“If people work with us, we can treat many drug addicts, and if they don't cooperate, it would be difficult,” said Ziauddin Maldar, head of private addiction treatment centers in Herat.
The cold weather has made life extremely difficult for drug addicts who are homeless in Herat. Nearly 70,000 drug addicts, most of whom are homeless, live in Herat, according to government figures.