Afghanistan Positioned Perfectly to Fuel American Opiate Addiction Epidemic

Opium Poppy

With news about General McChrystal’s recent firing due to insubordinate comments made against the Obama Administration, Afghanistan is at the top of the news yet again.

There were further comments released over the weekend by military brass that described the conflict in Afghanistan as one in which theUnited States doesn’t really have a clear path to victory.

A Different Kind of Threat from Afghanistan

The situation is not good there, but at home there’s a different epidemic that we’ve been writing about.  The epidemic of opiate addiction due to prescription drug abuse. The progression of OxyContin and Vicodin addicted men and women graduating from opiate pills to heroin continues to claim lives at an alarming rate.

A New Look at the Futility of the Drug War in Afghanistan

In an excellent article written by Alfred J. McCoy and published on, he outlines the history of the heroin industry in Afghanistan. Cultivation and trafficking of heroin has been funding tribal groups like the Taliban since those forces have been battling intruders like Russia and the United States in the 1980s.

Opium harvesting has grown from 250 tons in 1979 to over 8,200 tons in 2007.  Opium has provided as much as 50% of Afghanistan’s Gross Domestic Product and accounts for 90% of the world’s heroin supply.

Alfred McCoy has been studying the history of the opium industry since the 1980s and has an interesting take on the current state of affairs in Afghanistan – the United States helped create the world’s largest “Narco State” which now cannot possibly withstand evolution into any other legitimate economy.

The mujahadeen who are the religious tribal guerrillas that make the Afghanistan campaign so treacherous were once considered “freedom fighters” (per Ronald Reagan) as they struggled against a common enemy in the 1980s. The CIA looked the other way as the opium crops were processed into heroin (after being smuggled into Pakistan) in order to fund the devout muslim tribal warriors.

Other crops and agribusiness fell by the wayside as irrigation and livestock were destroyed during the decades of war.  Opium requires less water than most other crops (although twice the labor- which actually has created even more labor dependence on the crop).

Starting in the 1990s, Afghanistan (under the Taliban regime)have created laboratories to process the opium into heroin in Afghanistan itself.  The drug is generating billions of dollars every year and these dollars go into the hands of powers that would like to see the United States campaign (and Hameed Karzai led government) fail.

An Interesting Solution

In addition to raising alarm about the situation, Alfred McCoy also points out a possible solution – bring the troops in Afghanistan home and use the money saved to build the legitimate agribusiness in Afghanistan.

According to McCoy, the only solution to pacify a narco state is to convert it to a “non narco state.”

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I am uniting the voices as one within this Matrix of the Net.
    Did you know a lot of people do not know that this drug Oxy., is heroin ? This statement of, OxyContin is NOT heroin! is in error, Oxycontin is made from the Poppy Plant. you see the big lie was for it to never to be known, but now according to information over 45000 people have died and countless others are hooked. The FDA and the DEA turned their back and allowed this….
    American Business Men has turned the Afghan People into slaves and the stink of human waist is as sur-real as 9/11.
    You can not control this plant heroin, it is as nature intended for it to be. uncontrollable…
    This is like a old saying, as the Frog carried the Scorpion across the water and the Scorpion stung the Frog, the Frog asked why did you do this, now both of us will die, and the Scopion said, it is my nature…
    information by yahoo,
    Both OxyContin (a brand name for oxycodone) and heroin are made from opium, which is obtained from poppy plants. As a result, they are both considered opioid narcotics. However, the details of how they work and the side effects aren’t quite the same. Like morphine, codeine, and many other pain relievers, they are part of a large family of opium-derived drugs. These drugs have a bad rep because some people become addicted to them, but they are still the gold standard for treatment of pain.
    I am sick of reading about our Men and Women of the United States Military being killed in this war. I have watch for 30 years people stumble about and not know what to do. Its simple,”Unite as one voice”
    As I researched the, Why of the attack on 9/11. My heart was sad from what I found out to be a truth. It should also be noted that Afghan people have become slaves to these American Companies, And the stink of human waist is as sur-real as the day of 9/11. I do invite you to research my post and you will see why my question of ,Why is there a hands off policy that prevents the destruction of the Poppy fileds.
    Did you know that American Dollars supported the Terrorist Attack on 9/11/2001, and thousands of lives have been lost. Who are the investors of the Pharmaceutical Company Purdue that makes Oxycontin and how are they above the Law ? Oxycontin is Heroin made from the opium / poppy plants. It is Illegal by Law to buy and resale Heroin. Purdue is responsible for the deaths on 9/11 and the on going addiction here in America.
    I have been so out of touch with this world and the issues within, and because of this system failure brought on by this 9/11 , War and the Scams that brought the American People to their knees. I am a little bit angry, because some one said to me why, why Mr. Massingale do you persist? Because I choose to and this Arabic Drug Empire is in my way. I do not belong in this world of a Matrix, that most hold in the hearts as if it is all that. But because of this War I am now apart of it.
    So join Us International Boycott Of The Arabic Drug Empire Phase 2
    Henry Massingale / FASC Concepts in and for Pay It Forward covers the web post on google Drop by and see why we built a anti crime / war form in a Health Care Reform Concept. To strategically Rebuild America. on google look for page 1 american dream official site

  2. Yep

    Bribery and 1000’s of Billions of opium poppy
    From Bush Clinton Congressional drug lords
    Purdue Pharma!!!
    Everybody’s getting paid!!!!
    Prison population profits
    Big Pharma profits sky rocketing
    Big war machine profits!!!
    Billions of tax dollars for disabled vets
    Trillions in tax dollars for these so called Wars???

    Mean while millions of addicts and dysfunctional US families were the price that was paid
    Millions of people

    Planet of the Apes!!!!

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