Afghanistan Back Atop World’s Opium Production

According to the United States Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia, opium poppy is a profitable crop that is produced with cheap labor (women, children and refugees). In 2002 gross income from the opium poppy crops in Afghanistan rose to $1.2 billion. Afghan farmers were offered $1,250 per hectare (about 2.5 acres) by the government to destroy their crops, but they are expected to receive $16,000 per hectare in profits from drug processors and traffickers for growing the poppies. More than 90,000 hectares are believed to be under cultivation this year in that country alone. Unfortunately, in the Afghan economy the financial gain outweighs the devastation caused by the pain-killing drugs the opium poppy is used for, such as heroin. Officials say that roughly 80 percent of the heroin found in Europe comes from Afghanistan as well as nearly all of the supply in Russia. However, an increasing amount continues to find it’s way to the U.S., and it is no secret that the heroin drug trade is a primary source of funding for terrorist groups coming from the Middle East.
Recently, it was reported that 10 Afghan nationals were arrested by DEA agents in New York for suspicion of smuggling heroin from Pakistan and Afghanistan. A complaint said the Afghans conspired to import 17 pounds of heroin over a period of a year and a half, often trying to conceal the drugs inside sealed plastic tubing sewn into the seams of traditional clothing of Afghan women. Heroin use is the highest it’s ever been in the U.S., topping the 1970’s when it was a popular drug. There are currently more than 600,000 approximate heroin users in the nation, with an increasing percentage of young people becoming first-time users. Overall, there are 2.9 million people in the United States that have used heroin, surging the treatment admissions for the toxic substance steadily through the 90’s.
“I became a statistic at the age of 20 when I started using heroin,” explains Erica, a beautiful young lady that ended her addiction by completing the Narconon Arrowhead drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, which uses the life-saving technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard. “There is no way to describe the daily misery and agony I went through while addicted to heroin.” In fact, withdrawal from heroin is one of the most severe of any drug, leading many to overdose and others to death in fear of the pain, sleeplessness, vomiting and diarrhea caused by the drug’s sudden absence in the body. By looking at Erica today, one would never guess that she was a former drug addict that thankfully overcame the hell of an opiate addiction. Sadly, her case is not unusual. According to the Office of the National Drug Control Policy there were an estimated 104,000 new heroin users in 1999. Among these new users, 87,000 were between the ages of 12 and 25 and the average age among new heroin users is 19.

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