Monday, June 26, 2006

Getting Tougher on The Streets

Iraq had, still does have, very good toxicology labs. What it doesn't have are general practitioners [family doctors] with experience in diagnosing drug addiction.

I noticed some incidence of drug addiction following the Iran-Iraq war.

Now as one might expect there has been a massive upsurge in people trying if only temporarily to escape the unbearable reality that is the American creation of occupied Iraq. Some estimates put percentage of users as high as 2%. Higher in cities of course, much higher in the poorer quearters, higher yet in street children.

Since the start of the year there's been a massive upswing in the availability of illegal narcotics in the major cities particularly Baghdad:

  • Marijuana - prices vary too widely to estimate
  • Cocaine - price between US$2 and US$7 per gram depending upon supplier and purity
  • Heroin - price again between US$2 and US$7 per gram depending upon supplier and purity

These three are flooding in from Afghanistan. Prescription drugs were decontrolled by the American Bremer occupation regime:

  • Valium - A bottle of valium costs US¢50.
  • Codeine - A bottle of codeine costs US¢50.

If you can't afford 50 US cents street sellers sell valium "loose." A "mouthful" of codeine mixed with "medical alcohol" for the equivalent of US¢10. This last is very popular with street children. Glue sniffing - solvent abuse, is also noticably prevalent among street children in the poorer quarters.


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