Afghanistan is a major opium producer and a major source of heroin, despite the Taliban saying they will wage a war on drugs after regaining power in August 2021.
Islamabad. A report by a United Nations agency on Sunday claimed that the production of methamphetamine in the world is increasing the fastest in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a major opium producer and a major source of heroin, despite the Taliban saying they will wage a war on drugs after regaining power in August 2021. This report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime states that meth (methamphetamine) is produced in Afghanistan mainly from substances available illegally or extracted from the wild plant ‘Ephedra’.
The report describes the increasing production of meth in Afghanistan as a growing threat to national and regional health and security as it will impact the synthetic drugs market and increase the risk of people becoming addicted. Meth produced in Afghanistan is now also reportedly being recovered from the European Union and East Africa, the report said. The report said annual meth seizures in Afghanistan have increased from 100 kilograms in 2019 to nearly 2,700 kilograms in 2021, indicating an increase in drug production.
But the report does not provide information about meth supply, production, domestic use, price etc. in Afghanistan because data related to this is not available. Angela May, head of UNODC’s ‘Research and Trend Analysis’ branch, told ‘The Associated Press’ (AP) that meth production in Afghanistan is much more profitable than heroin or cocaine production. “You don’t need to wait for anything (crops) to grow,” May said. “You don’t need land,” he said. You just need people who make drugs and know the method. Meth production laboratories are mobile and hidden from view. Afghanistan also has the ‘Ephedra’ plant which even the world’s largest meth producing countries Myanmar and Mexico do not have. Its production is legal in Afghanistan and it grows everywhere. But you need it in large quantities.” May said it was too early to assess what impact the Taliban crackdown has had on the meth supply.
Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Mateen Kani told AP that the Taliban government has banned the cultivation, production, sale and use of all narcotics and psychotropic substances in Afghanistan. He said authorities have destroyed 644 factories and drugs grown on about 12,000 acres of land. More than 5,000 raids have been conducted in which 6,000 people have been arrested. “We can’t claim 100 percent that it’s over because people can still do these activities secretly,” Kani said. It is not possible to eliminate it in such a short time.
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