Opium cultivation has long been a major asset to the Afghanistan GDP but in the past ten years production of opium had actually been slightly declining due largely in part to the War on Drugs. Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, Afghanistan opium production is now on the rise despite earlier drops that stemmed from a desire for various governments to join forces to combat drug trades around the world. A report released by the United Nations on May 6, 2013 has found that production of opium in Afghanistan is on an upward trend and has been since 2010.
The biggest concerns regarding the report findings involve the trend toward a lack of rule and an assumed disregard to the so called, War on Drugs. In fact, law enforcement officials report that when military officials depart Afghanistan in 2014, the primary economic activity in the country will all revolve around the production of opium.
As the world’s largest producer of opium, Afghanistan already supplies an estimated 75% of all heroin that is trafficked around the world today. Based on current reporting and the assumption that Afghanistan opium production will continue on an upward trend, estimates figure that more than 90% of the world’s heroin supply will come from Afghanistan by the end of 2013.
Cultivation of opium in Afghanistan has increased in nearly half of the country over the past three years and in areas where there was once very limited production of this drug producing plant there is now a vast increase. So vast in fact that eradication efforts have since topped costs upward of more than $1 million in small areas and more than $18 million overall.
A Good Performers Initiative Award was announced by the State Department of the American Embassy for areas in Afghanistan that reduce poppy cultivation effectively and keep the areas poppy-free. While this does provide incentive, in an area where there is little to grow on economically, for some Afghan people, poppy cultivation is simply a way of life—and a matter of necessity to live and afford to provide for a family.
Estimates confirm that opium trafficking makes up for more than 15% of the gross domestic product in Afghanistan and as military existence within the confines of the country dwindles, the amount of money made through poppy cultivation and opium production is expected to rise significantly higher.
What this all Means
What this means is that there is likely going to be an increase in heroin addiction, opium addiction and the problems that come with an increased supply of a dangerous drug in the United States. As Afghanistan opium production rises, and more drug traffickers are able to get the product into the United States, there will likely be more people suffering from the perils of addiction.
If you or someone you know is addicted to opium, heroin or an opium derivative, call our helpline at 800-405-7172 to talk with a counselor about your treatment options today. We can help you find the support you need to get well.