Pakistan, a country already tormented by regional insurgencies, is fighting a losing battle against a different kind of foe: drug addiction. In the country’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), an estimated 11 percent of residents use illicit substances – primarily heroin. Peshwar, the provincial capital of KPK, is a city rife with homeless addicts and dirty needles.
Pakistan’s illegal drug trade is believed to generate $2 billion a year [making] Pakistan the most heroin-addicted country, per capita, in the world. Peshawar is at the center of this phenomenon, in close proximity to extensive opium-poppy fields in the Afghan provinces of Badakhshan, Kunar and Nangarhar, and the rudimentary heroin-processing labs clustered around Landi Kotal in the adjoining Khyber tribal agency.
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