Children Addicted to Opiates-A Sad Situation in Afghanistan

Those of us who are on the front lines of addiction treatment know that detoxification from opiates can be a grueling experience that is difficult to witness.  Imagine having to help a child under the age of 5 through such an ordeal.

A recent article on shows us a tragic side effect of the global system of opiate addiction and supply that OxyContin acts as kind of a fuel for.

Of course, it is logical that the community where about 75% of the world’s heroin is manufactured is going to be hit hard by the phenomenon of opiate addiction.  This would be Afghanistan, where the poppies are grown, harvested, and processed into heroin.

The result is that the drug opium is widely available and abused.  Sadly, families become hooked on the sensation of smoking opium, and the addiction is passed on to babies often through the act of breastfeeding.

The United Nations estimates that 1 million out of 18 million Afghanis are addicted to opiates. Afghanistan has some of the youngest heroin addicts in the world.

There are now special treatment programs to help both mothers and their infant children break the opium habit.  The video on the CNN are very shocking to see children so young suffering from addiction.

Afghanistan as a third world country apparently has struggled to address the addiction issue through public education and many of the mother’s claim that they werern’t even aware of the problem that they played a part in foising upon.  See this post about a shocking anti-opium public health poster in Afghanistan.

The treatment centers that the women are participating in are US funded and they are able to get 45 days of residential care at the treatment center before returning home- unfortunately to a family system that includes a father who abuses opium

Relevant to OxyContin

The reason this tale is relevant to our blog on OxyContin is the connection between OxyContin medication and heroin abuse in the U.S. (and the world). OxyContin is prescribed in the United States for pain and we think this is irresponsible as a result of the thousands of Americans who have become mentally and physically dependent on OxyContin and then graduated to heroin (which is much easier to obtain and a fraction of the price).

To read more about how the U.S. prescription drug industry plays a part in a global system of opiate drug production that has led to an epidemic of fatal overdose and crime in U.S. cities read these articles:

Three Unlikely Partners in Crime: Afghanistan, Mexico, and US. Prescription Drug Manufacturers

Three Unlikely Partners in Crime II: Mexican Farmers and Xalisco Drug Entrepreneurs

Three Unlikely Partners in Crime III: The Taliban in Afghanistan