The consequences of Afghanistan’s huge opium production have had an effect across society. There are believed to be more than a million opium and heroin addicts – one of the largest levels in the world – taking advantage of plentiful supplies.
The amount of land given over to opium in 2013 was 209,000 hectares. The potential production from that is estimated to be more than annual global demand, according to the head of the UN office for Drugs and Crime in Kabul, Jean-Luc Lemahieu.
After rising sharply in the years after the Taliban successfully stopped production, the harvest last peaked in 2007 and is expected to continue rising.
Mr Lemahieu said that the rise since 2010 was caused principally by what he called a “hot political market” – uncertainty over the process of transition from US control. That uncertainty will continue with the end of foreign combat operations and the presidential election next year.
More farmers have been trying to grow the poppy as the price of opium has been rising.
Afghanistan produces more than 90% of the world’s opium.
Pray for Afghanistan in the midst of this enormous crisis. Poverty drives people to survive and too many earn too much money to want to stop this activity. At the same time, lives are being caught up in the web of drug addiction and the nation has no resources to help addicts. Pray that the hold of this evil will be broken and new doors of opportunities will be open.