AFGHAN ADDICTS HELP RUN DARING NEW RESTAURANT IN KABUL

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afghan10f-3-web.jpgLaila Haidari’s idea of helping drug addicts is revolutionary in a poverty and war-stricken country where treatment options for opiate addicts in Afghanistan vary from the non-existent to limited.

Reuters

Photo: Former drug addicts serve food for customers at the Taj Begum (“Woman’s Crown”) restaurant in Kabul October 4, 2012. Laila Haidari is using $26,000 borrowed from friends to launch a daring project to aid Afghan drug addicts. She runs a Kabul restaurant that is already helping two women recover from drug use. The Taj Begum restaurant serves an array of Afghan, Iranian and Turkish dishes while operating simultaneously as a shelter. Picture taken October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail (AFGHANISTAN – Tags: SOCIETY DRUGS)

 Inhaling deeply on a cigarette, Laila Haidari sits on the floor of a new Kabul restaurant wondering if it will one day allow her to repay an eye-watering $26,000 borrowed from friends to launch a daring project to aid Afghan drug addicts.

Haidari plans to find staff for her Taj Begum (“Woman’s Crown”) restaurant through the shelters she runs, giving addicts a chance to rebuild their lives and learn new skills while helping her run a business.

Haidari’s idea is revolutionary in a poverty and war-stricken country where treatment options for opiate addicts in Afghanistan vary from the non-existent to limited.

There is just one methadone substitution project, despite there being over one million users, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

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