Prevention and Treatment in Afghanistan
Prevention and Treatment services are provided by a multitude of local, state, and federal agencies. Most provide treatment for substance (methamphetamine and alcohol) abuse disorders with a detoxification program as part of the program. Additionally, most offer prevention services for sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and offer free or low cost STD tests at various locations throughout the county. Some also offer prevention and treatment services related to tobacco use.
Substance abuse (both substance abuse and alcoholism) is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that one million people experience substance abuse or addiction-related crimes in the nation each year. Many of these victims do not seek treatment for their problems and, if they do, are unaware that there are prevention and treatment programs available. In Sacramento, there are many qualified and experienced professionals who can offer both substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
In Afghanistan alone, AIDS is one of the biggest threats to the health care system and is responsible for the death of over one million people every year. Because of the widespread nature of AIDS in Afghanistan, substance use and abuse programs have been largely neglected. However, there is a unique opportunity with the opening of the Indo-Pacific Health Information Centre in Kundan, Afghanistan. Located within the Green Zone of the government of Kundan, the centre offers treatment programs and prevention programs for a wide range of STDs and HIV/AIDS related issues.
The centre began operations in October 2021. Under the direction of Dr. Safaullah Salehmand, the Center offers a variety of medical and health services to address a wide range of medical issues related to substance abuse. Amongst other medical services, the centre provides primary prevention services, conducts specialised counseling, and conducts home visitation programs for families experiencing the effects of substance abuse.
One of the primary prevention strategies in Afghanistan is community based treatment. Many individuals living in rural areas do not go to clinics for regular checkups or medical attention. In addition, many individuals may be aware of simple methods of enhancing their overall health by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, and using quality substance abuse programs to help combat addiction. As a result, they tend to fall back into a lifestyle of regular drug use, which can exacerbate the problem of substance abuse and lead to increased risks of contracting an STD.
Primary prevention programs in Afghanistan to address these issues and more. These programs address substance abuse through prevention and educational initiatives. They also involve secondary prevention strategies such as promoting demand reduction programs, promoting mass education, and providing jobs and vocational training to individuals who are victims of substance use disorders. Through the employment opportunities provided by the Kundan province government, there has been an increase in the number of registered nurses and doctors. Additionally, there are several organizations based in the rural regions that provide private treatment and prevention programs to those individuals who may be suffering from addictions.
There are also several organizations in Kundan province that focus on implementing quality drug use programs. Most of these drug prevention and treatment programs are developed and implemented by trained counsellors who receive specialized training in addiction and family support. In addition, counsellors are supervised by trained professionals who ensure that the counsellors are following set guidelines and are providing personalized treatment. The success rate of these drug demand reduction programs is extremely high, and the results are startling.
As a result of the tremendous support from the international community and local community, the number of people who have begun to receive effective treatment has dramatically increased. With the expansion of substance use disorder prevention and treatment programs in Afghanistan, substance abuse has become a thing of the past. Today, substance use disorders are rare, and those who suffer from addiction have access to help. These advancements are truly miraculous in a country that once was considered too dangerous to even visit.