Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 17th of March 2018 to The Sounding Line.
As the rate of fatal drug overdose skyrockets in the United States, Afghanistan’s opium production is simultaneously surging to record highs. In 2017 alone, Afghansistan’s production of opium, the key ingredient in heroin, nearly doubled. As Statista notes:
“According to the latest “Afghanistan Opium Survey” released jointly by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), overall production rose by 87 percent compared to last year, to 9,000 metric tons. This is partly due to a 63 percent increase in poppy cultivated cropland, to 328,000 hectares in 2017. Also, the yield has increased by 15 percent to around 27 kilos of opium per hectare.”
You will find more infographics at Statista
Not only have drug overdoses become today’s leading cause of death for Americans under 50, but overdoses are now killing more Americans than other leading causes of death at their historic highs: gun violence at its peak in the early 1990s, car crashes at their peak in the 1970s, and even AIDS at its peak in 1995.
While the ongoing war in Afghanistan may have fallen out of the mainstream media news cycle, it is inexorably linked to this grave public health crisis.
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