Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two thirds of Afghans suffer mental disorder

Reuters relays a shocking statistic:

66% of Afghans mentally afflicted: Official

KABUL, Apr 21 (Reuters) - Scarred by decades of turmoil and grief, 66% of Afghans suffer from depression or some form of mental disorder and an increasing number are turning to illegal drugs, a health official said.

Afghan deputy health minister Faizullah Kakar said mental illness and drug abuse were the most urgent health problems that the country needs to tackle. ...

"Depressed people like to take drugs and get more depressed. It's a vicious cycle."

Afghanistan is the world's number one producer of opium, from which heroin is derived. It had an estimated 920,000 drug addicts a few years ago. "This may be greater now," Kakar said. ... (link)

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