Meningitis is an infection that causes the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord to swell.
Air pollution has become a problem in Afghanistan. In this issue, Sada-e Azadi looks at the causes, what is being done to cut pollution, and how you can protect your family from illnesses associated with pollution.
What is opium?
Opium is a narcotic, or drug, that comes from the sap of opium poppies.
Is opium dangerous?
Opium is incredibly dangerous for many reasons. It is, firstly, one of the most addictive substances known to mankind. For many people, after they have taken it once they find it difficult, sometimes impossible, to stop. Yet there are other physiological effects that make consuming opium a risk to the user’s health. These include having a fatal overdose, developing cancers from smoking the drug and an increased risk of heart attacks.
Are there any other risks with opium and heroin?
Yes. Most users’ health will generally deteriorate because of their drug use. Their bodies will be weaker and more prone to other illnesses. Addicts will also become less aware of their personal hygiene, further endangering themselves and those close to them.
Why do people take opium?
Opium, and the stronger, more refined bi-product, heroin, have been used as painkillers for thousands of years. And while the agent within opium is still used in pharmaceutical drugs, it is in a measured and safe dosage.
Is it safer to consume opium or heroin by injecting it with needles?
No use of heroin or opium is safe. Intravenous (by needle) methods are even more dangerous than smoking. The effects of the drug are usually magnified and users risk contracting fatal, incurable blood-borne diseases such as AIDS by sharing infected needles.
What should I do if I know someone taking opium or heroin?
You or someone else they trust should talk to them about the dangers of drug use. Be careful not to ostracize them – it may lead them to take more drugs. You should also find out from your local hospital of the closest drug rehabilitation clinic.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a disease with no cure that will almost always kill whoever contracts it.
Salmonella is a bacterium that causes food poisoning, typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever.