It was not mentioned in the President’s speech. Major media outlets cover the epidemic of opioid addiction in America, but they rarely say where it comes from.
But the fact is that 80% of the opium produced in the world comes from Afghanistan.
Remember, opioids create their own market. A charismatic pusher can walk into any neighborhood, give away free samples and create lucrative, permanent market, such is the power of addiction. That means children, immature humans who are not ready to make adult decisions can have their lives ruined. It’s easy, some pusher just has to trick them into trying heroin (or some derivative) the first time. Then their life choices fly out the window.
I’ve long said we should consider the death penalty for anyone who sells addictive drugs to children.
Our interests in Afghanistan are defined in terms of fighting terrorism and it certainly is a problem. But let’s do a comparison.
According to a State Department report, in 2015, from all terrorist attacks worldwide, resulted in more than 28,300 total deaths. The report describes patterns of worldwide terrorist activity with respect to changes during the year, geographic concentration, casualties, perpetrator organizations, tactics, weapons, and targets. This is clearly a horrible problem in the world.
The number of deaths due to opioids, says OverdoseDay.com, is estimated to be a minimum of 190,000 (assuming the minimum in all estimates) six times as many as with terrorism. And it could be several times as many.
According to the organization, “Drug-related deaths in Asia are tentative because of poor regional coverage and reporting of mortality data. However, it is estimated that there were between 13,600 and 100,700 deaths in 2013.
“In 2015 China gave its first-ever assessment of the human impact of drug overdose, saying there were as many as 49,000 deaths in 2014.
“It is estimated that more than 70,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses in European Union countries in the first decade of the 21st Century.
“The United States accounts for approximately one quarter of the estimated number of drug-related deaths worldwide, including overdose deaths, which continue to rise. Mostly driven by opioids, overdose deaths in the united States more than tripled during the period 1999-2015, from 16,849 to 52,404 annually.”
And of course, the number of lives ruined is in the millions. You may say these people have a choice, but often they don’t. Opioids create their own market. One uninformed “choice” could be the last free choice they make.
We have noted many times, that Afghanistan is similar to Colombia in that the war is supported by the warlords who grow opium crops. The chaos covers their industry which is upwards of $56 Billion per year worldwide. It is a major destabilizing force, and many will fight and die to keep it.
Attorney General Sessions has declared we have an opioid epidemic here in America and has vowed to fight it. Yet, the destruction of the opium trade is not mentioned as a goal in Afghanistan.
Have we forgotten?