Data from 2015 — when the last comprehensive national survey was carried out — showed Afghanistan had about three million drug addicts, a huge proportion of the country’s estimated 37 million people.
Experts say the number has only risen, and health officials estimate the proportion of addicts using meth could be as high as about 40 percent.
But just a few years ago, meth was practically non-existent.
The first meth seizure was reported in southern Helmand province in 2008 — a meager amount of a few grams, according to Afghan counter-narcotic officials.
In the first 10 months of 2019, a massive 935 kilos had been seized, said Kabir Ibrahimkhail, a senior counter-narcotics officer.
“At the rate it is increasing, it will not be a surprise if it soon replaces opium in Afghanistan,” he told AFP.
That would be hugely significant in a country that grows roughly 90 percent of the world’s illicit opium, and raises the question of whether Afghan meth could end up following the same international trafficking routes.