Another Record Breaking Year for Opium Production in U.S. Occupied Afghanistan
Now officially a national federal emergency, the opioid crisis is gutting America. The roots of this complex issue lie in supply, not demand, and while we are beginning to see major pharmaceutical executives being indicted for conspiracy and bribery of doctors, we have a long way to go to turn this thing around.
Pharmaceutical and synthetic opioids are a major part of the catastrophe, but the other side of the supply chain is actual opium, and the world’s biggest opium market just happens to be occupied Afghanistan, the epicenter of the global heroin trade. The United States military has been operating in Afghanistan as part of the war on terror for over 16 years now, and opium production in the war-torn nation continues to increase, year-over-year, coinciding with the rise of the opioid crisis.
2017 looks to be another record year for opium production in Afghanistan. As reported by Business Insider:
“The country has produced the majority of the world’s opium for some time, despite billions of dollars spent by the US to fight it during the 16-year-long war there. Afghan and Western officials now say that rather than getting smuggled out of Afghanistan in the form of opium syrup, at least half of the crop is getting processed domestically, before leaving the country as morphine or heroin.” [Source]