‘My mother offered me opium to smoke when I was 6 years old’

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Features, Stories

Tale of a cute Afghan boy who got habitual with opium by his mother since his birth

By Mustafa Kazemi


Nimruz, Southwestern Afghanistan (Combat Journalist): – Naweed, nowNaweed 10 years old, is a fatherless boy who found out that he cannot survive without opium when he was 6 years-and-10-months old.

He accepted his mother’s offer to smoke raw opium for the first time when he was 6-years-and-10-months in order to stop his body pain.

‘I became an addict when I was in my mother’s womb because she was smoking and eating opium during her pregnancy’ Naweed says.

He was accustomed to smoke raw opium for over 3 years, twice a day – in the evening and morning. Amount of opium for his daily use was size of one-and-a-half pie – over one gram, making it three pie-size of raw opium every day.

Until his father was killed he carried on in this manner, and when his mother married another man who too was a drug addict same as the wife, Naweed’s sisters stood against the mother and kicked her out of the family – urging her to live with her husband and leave the house.

Sisters of Naweed say that they threw the mother out of the house for 2 reasons, one that she was an addict and this made a bad image of the family – and Naweed’s future.

‘We couldn’t do anything during the 6 or 7 years that Naweed was puffed opium onto his face until our father was killed. But when we could, we acted and threw her (mother) out for Naweed’s future’. Elder sister of Naweed tells me while abusing the mother with strong offensive terms.

Naadir was Naweed’s real father was not a drug addict – He was a Police officer in the ANP (Afghan National Police) who was killed two years ago in a Taliban ambush in Delaram district of Nimruz while conducting a patrol on Zaranj-Delaram Highway.

Naweed was brought up by his addict mother and his sisters and brothers since his father was killed. He never went to school.

Naweed’s mother, Lailoma, a drug addict by profession, that avoided talking to me, is in her mid-thirties. Her body looks like that of an athlete – slim and fit, with a very rough skin.

Lailoma used to puff the smoke of the opium that she smoked onto Naweed’s face since his birth in order to make him breathe the opium and subsequently stay calm and asleep throughout the day.

Naweed’s uncle (mother’s brother) was a drug addict too – but committed suicide four months ago from today. He was 20 years old. His doctor tells me that he was suffering from bipolar disease.

When Naweed was almost 7 years old, Lailoma offered him opium to smoke – as he was grumpy of severe body pain, a pain which was triggered by deficiency of opium in his body for the reason that he was not puffed opium onto his face – and his organism had already adopted itself to regular puffs of opium.

He talks to me in this small room while smiling and crooning Indian songs with self – awaiting the doctor to run his routine check and prescribe him new medicine.

‘My mother offered me opium to smoke. I smoked it because I wanted to do everything possible to stop the pain. My body was paining a lot and it was unbearable for me. My mother told me that it will stop the pain immediately. When I smoked the opium with a spoon, my body’s pain just disappeared and I was feeling so happy. I didn’t know what it was’ Naweed says smiling.

A month later, Naweed found out that he was a drug addict.

His behavior is that of a timeworn man. Although younger than a teenager, but understands what his mother did to him and his future. Appearance-wise, he does not seem like an addict because he is just a child.

Nevertheless, he says he’s happy that he’s ‘going to be healthy soon’ and the people will not call him a ‘kid drug addict’ any further, he says.

Naweed’s sisters took her to rehabilitation center after physically forcing their mother to leave the home. He is under treatment by a de-addiction specialist who also works for the UN.

He is now living with his sisters and brothers who are happy and taking care of him. He has three sisters and 2 brothers. One sister and one brother work and finance the family. Other family relatives also help them in financial issues.

Naweed is the youngest in the family – his immediate brother is 12-years-old and is a healthy boy ‘who eats five times a day’ – as Naweed says laughingly.

He looks happy and is smiling all the time despite knowing that he is being treated as a drug addict – or a sick person whom ‘everybody hates’ him – terms that he uses for himself.

Naweed repeatedly tells me that he was already a drug addict before he was born. ‘I was an addict when I was in my mother’s womb Ha Ha Ha’ He tells me, calling me ‘friend’.

His de-addiction specialist tells me that Naweed’s treatment is going ahead very good and they will soon have him totally healthy.

Naweed is due to undergo detoxification in two weeks, his doctor says.


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