Playing music as new method for treatment of Afghan drug addicts

Afghanistan: Addicts dance at Jaghara Treatment Center in Injil district of Herat province, western Afghanistan, April 15, 2021.

Kabul, (Asian independent)┬áHundreds of drug addicts have recovered in the Jaghara Treatment Centre in Afghanistan’s Herat province since its establishment eight years ago. In addition to giving medicines to the patients, the treatment centre also plays music and arranges a party twice every day.

“The tune of music and melodies in the treatment centre has inspired me to forget smoking drugs, and after recovery I play music for others in the centre to get cured,” Ibrahim Hamraz, a former addict, told Xinhua news agency.

Hamraz, 43, who used to smoke illicit drugs including heroin for 23 years, told Xinhua recently that he resorted to hashish and then to heroin when he was 20.

The former drug addict said he received medical treatments in several rehabilitation centres over the past decade but all in vain.

“I have received medical treatments several times over the past decade and had given up smoking for 15 times but resumed drug smoking after a few weeks or a few months,” Hamraz said.

But “it is more than nine months that I have never smoked drugs, neither heroin nor hashish after receiving treatment via playing music in Jaghara Treatment Centre”.

Herat province with about 70,000 drug addicts, according to Abdul Zahir Atae, head of the centre, would further suffer due to the increase in drug trafficking and its easy availability.

“The price of some 1 g drugs mostly heroin in the past years was 350 afghani, but nowadays it is sold on streets at a price of 10-20 afghani,” Atae said, adding the low price and its availability in bulk have resulted in the growing number of drug addicts in the relatively peaceful province.

Atae, who was an addict 32 years and recovered eight years ago, told Xinhua: “Usually, the staff at the centre plays music for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon whenever the addicts feel the need for heroin, and after listening to music, they feel better.”

Although there is no official statistics on the number of drug addicts in Afghanistan, more than 3 million out of the country’s some 32.5 million population have reportedly been addicted, including many in the capital of Kabul.