Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Iran Battles Opium Epidemic, Addicts Double in Six Years

According to a new study from Iran’s Drug Control Organization, the number of people regularly consuming drugs has grown from 1.3 million six years ago to at least 2.8 million today. The vast majority of these drug users favor opium, which flows in from Afghanistan.
The BBC argues that America’s overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 paved the way for a surge in Afghan opium production, to the point that it now produces about 90 percent of the world’s supply. Iran is “a major transit point for Afghan-produced opiates heading to Europe.”
However, the UK Independent quotes U.N. researchers who say opium exports from Afghanistan have surged over the past year because the Taliban is back in power, controlling almost 40 percent of the country. The Taliban uses opium as a cash crop to fund its military activities, and as a source of both jobs and money to win allegiance from rural Afghans. Good weather is also said to have boosted opium production.
According to the Iranian study, about 67 percent of Iranian drug users prefer opium and its derivatives, followed by 12 percent for marijuana, and 8 percent for methamphetamines. READ MORE