Problems in Afghanistan Due To Drug Activities
The biggest problem associated with Afghanistan’s drug production is the addiction among its citizens. Approximately 7.5% of the adult population in Afghanistan uses illicit drugs. This has resulted in the capital city, Kabul, establishing more than 50 drug rehabilitation centers. The people who are currently in the rehabilitation centers account for 1% of the entire Afghan population. The statistics are grim. In some parts of the country, parents are also introducing their children to the opium drug. The number of people using heroin in the country has resulted to an unemployment rate of about 40% (Qadiry, 2013). The addiction numbers have been brought by the country’s drug production activities.
Another problem brought by Afghanistan’s drug production activities is the unavailability of food crops agricultural land. In 2013, Afghan farmers devote in excess of 500,000 acres of land to cultivate the opium poppy plant (Felbab-Brown, 2017). This is a 36% rise from the previous year. Another study reported that opium poppy cultivation land in Afghanistan grew by 63% from the year 2016 to 2017. Most of the opium poppy lands are situated in the Helmand province. More than 144,000 ha of land is dedicated to opium cultivation in this province. This indicates how the Afghan people have devoted much of their land to opium cultivation.
However, the biggest problem brought by opium drug production in Afghanistan is the constant warfare. The Taliban terrorist movement pockets around $100 million yearly from the opium crop production. This enables them to fund their very own anti-government forces (Qadiry, 2013). This results to the country experiencing constant suicide and bomb attacks. This has resulted to the US sending their very own troops to help fight the Taliban.
US Drug Use If Afghanistan’s Drug Activities are eliminated
Not much would change on the US opioid epidemic if the Afghanistan’s drug activities were eliminated. Afghan heroin comprises only a small slice of the total opioid use in the US. Most of the opium that finds its way into the US originates from both Mexico and Colombia (Felbab-Brown, 2017). Nowadays, even Guatemala is supplying opium to the US. Therefore, halting the production of opium in Afghanistan will not affect the US opium use.
Prevalence of US Drug Use
According to a 2014 NSDUH, 21.5 million Americans aged 12 years and above suffer from a drug disorder. Drug abuse in the US costs the society around $200 billion, money used in healthcare and criminal justice. This represents how drug use is a menace in the American society.
Drug Use and Crime
It is a truthful fact that drug use will almost always directly result in crime at some point in the drug user’s life. First, a drug user who cannot finance his drug addiction will commit crimes such as theft, mugging and robbery with violence so as to get money and buy drugs. Second, a drug user can start selling illicit drugs, which is a crime.
Best Course of Action to Reduce the Occurrence of Drug-Induced Crimes
The best course of action to reduce the occurrence of drug-induced crimes is by eliminating drug production activities. This ensures that the future generation grows up without any knowledge of any illegal drug. This is the only way to go about it if drug-induced crimes are to be eliminated.
Felbab-Brown, V. (2017). Afghanistan’s opium production is through the roof—why Washington shouldn’t overreact. BROOKINGS. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/11/21/afghanistans-opium-production-is-through-the-roof-why-washington-shouldnt-overreact/
Qadiry, T. (2013). Afghanistan, the drug addiction capital. BBC NEWS. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22091005