The Plight of Female Drug Addicts in Afghanistan

Afgan drug addict woman 123456 by R Persson

Addiction strikes many women in Afghanistan.

Photographer Rafaela Persson has lived in Afghanistan since 2008, and spends time getting to know her subjects.

I had an idea to photograph female drug addicts. Afghanistan is the world’s biggest producer of opium, from which heroin is derived. According to a study made by U.N. Drugs and Crimes Office in 2010, the rate of drug addiction in Afghanistan is twice the global average; Afghans have become the leading consumers of their own opium.  Approximately one million Afghans, or eight percent of the war-shattered country’s total population is suffering from drug addiction, a 75 percent increase since 2005. What is even more alarming is that studies show that 50 percent of Afghanistan’s opium-using parents give the drug to their own children…

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Study: Prescribing Heroin to Addicts Helps Keep Them Off Street Drugs


Supplies including syringes, bandaids and antiseptic pads waits to be used by a drug addict inside a safe injection site in Vancouver, British Columbia

Prescribing heroin to addicts who can’t kick their habit helps them stay off street drugs, British researchers said Friday.  So far, doctors have had little hope of treating the 10 percent or more of heroin users who don’t respond to methadone, the standard anti-addiction medication. Fueled by drug cravings, those users often spiral downward into crime and diseases spread by dirty needles and unhealthy living.


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Popular Anxiety Drugs Addictive In The Same Way As Heroin


Benzodiazepine drugs can be effective at reducing anxiety but they can also prove addictive.

A popular form of anxiety drugs use the same potentially addictive ‘reward pathways’ in the brain as heroin and cannabis, scientists have warned.  Researchers from Switzerland and the U.S found benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium and Xanax exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter.


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Crack Babies – The Epidemic That Didn’t Happen

The Epidemic That Didn’t Happen 

 Baby addicted to cocaine

One sister is 14; the other is 9. They are a vibrant pair: the older girl is high-spirited but responsible, a solid student and a devoted helper at home; her sister loves to read and watch cooking shows, and she recently scored well above average on citywide standardized tests.

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Tackling The Heroin Menace With Pomegranates


More Profitable Than Poppies?

A former homeless drug abuser from Swindon is the unlikely champion of an initiative that aims to fight Afghanistan’s vast narcotics economy – with fruit juice. James Brett, 39, who once spent a year living rough before becoming a fruit juice magnate, is behind a scheme that aims to replace opium fields with pomegranate orchards.Afghanistan produces 90 per cent of the world’s opium, which generates almost all the heroin consumed by British drug addicts. The country also grows some of the world’s finest pomegranates, though many orchards have been destroyed during more than 30 years of war.

Mr Brett’s scheme will begin in March with 100,000 pomegranate saplings in the eastern province of Nangahar. He hopes eventually to plant 175,000 hectares (432,250 acres) of orchards across the country.

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Speedball Beer Facing Sales Ban


HEY! I wanted drugs, not beer…

A beer called Speedball has been criticised amid claims it promotes the drugs mix that killed actors John Belushi and River Phoenix. Speedballing is the name given to combining heroin and cocaine.

A complaint has been upheld against Fraserburgh’s BrewDog under the drinks industry watchdog the Portman Group’s code of practice.

However, a BrewDog spokesman said Speedball was “for those who enjoy a quality beer responsibly”.

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