22 March 2009
Reading time: (Number of words: )
Kabulis report that an increasing number of youths are becoming addicted to drugs. The youths use and sell drugs and alcoholic drinks in local parks and residential areas, according to reports. Family violence, abuse, mental health issues and unemployment are cited as reasons for people turning to drugs.
Makroyan Park, Kabul, is one of the many places in the capital that changes character for the worse after dark. Built by a Ukrainian construction company this summer, the park was, briefly popular with families but since being taken over by drug users, fewer people visit the park, even during the day.
One marijuana-smoking youth told me that “heartbreak” had led him to start using drugs, which he brought from a dealer in the park.
Another man, in tears, said that "abuse and unemployment" had led him to try and find solace with a bottle of vodka. The drug dealers said to me that they felt safe selling their illegal wares in the park and that business was booming.
Despite the presence of a police station near the park and frequent patrols by NDS officials seeking to make arrests, in Makroyan Park at least, the trade in and consumption of banned substances appears to be flourishing.