Afghan poppy fields are ground zero in the global war on drugs – a battle authorities are largely losing.
Afghanistan’s government has turned Kabul’s largest US military camp into a centre to treat drug addicts.
The country is the world’s biggest supplier of heroin, and illegal drugs are cheap to buy.
The former military camp is now the largest rehabilitation centre in the country, serving mostly homeless addicts. There are usually around 600 patients in the centre.
As well as receiving medicine and counselling, they receive three meals a day, new clothes and haircuts.
Sayyid Walid, a patient, told Al Jazeera: “I have been using drugs for 22 years. I am tired of this dark life. I want to start a new one.”
Another, Mohammed Assad, said: “When I compare my previous life with my current one, I feel I’m human.”
Doctors say the programme starts with a 45-day detoxification.
Daruish Osmani, who works at the centre, told Al Jazeera: “After 45 days, we will continue with our treatment including physical activity and teaching them a career such as carpentry … We won’t leave them.”
Afghanistan is the world’s biggest opium producer. Last year, the country produced some 3,300 tonnes
The ministry of counter narcotics says there are up to 2.4 million adult drug users in Afghanistan, but only 123 treatment centres.