ONDCP Claims Afghanistan Heroin Production Down

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Narconon Arrowhead comments on White House release regarding reduction of opium poppy cultivation and the devastation of heroin addiction

In a release from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) this week it was announced that the estimated amount of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan dropped by 48 percent. The total number of hectares (about 2.5 acres) was reduced from 206,000 to 107,000. However, this is still up from 30,000 hectares in 2002 and equates to approximately 526 metric tons of potential heroin production, if all were processed.

Unfortunately, in the Afghan economy the financial gain outweighs the devastation caused by the pain-killing drugs the opium poppy is used for, such as heroin.

According to the United States Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia, opium poppy is a profitable crop that is produced with cheap labor (women, children and refugees). In 2002 gross income from the opium poppy crops in Afghanistan rose to $1.2 billion. Afghan farmers were offered $1,250 per hectare by the government to destroy their crops, but they are expected to receive $16,000 per hectare in profits from drug processors and traffickers for growing the poppies.

"Even with these significant reductions in poppy cultivation, the overall scope of the drug threat in Afghanistan remains unacceptably high," said John Walters, Director of the ONDCP.

Officials say that roughly 80 percent of the heroin found in Europe comes from Afghanistan as well as nearly all of the supply in Russia. However, an increasing amount continues to find its way to the U.S.

Heroin use is still at a very high level in the United States, topping the 1970’s when it was a popular drug. There were 166,000 current heroin users in 2004. This is similar to 2002 and 2003. Overall, there are 3.1 million people in the U.S. that have used heroin in their lifetime, surging the heroin addiction treatment admissions for the toxic substance steadily through the 90’s.

“I became a statistic at the age of 20 when I started using heroin. There is no way to describe the daily misery and agony I went through while addicted to heroin,” explains Erica, a beautiful young lady who eventually ended her addiction.

In fact, withdrawal from heroin is one of the most severe of any drug, leading many to overdose and others to death in fear of the pain, sleeplessness, vomiting and diarrhea caused by the drug’s sudden absence in the body. By looking at Erica today, one would never guess that she was a former drug addict that thankfully overcame the hell of an opiate addiction. She got her life back together by completing the Narconon Arrowhead drug rehabilitation and education program, which uses the life-saving technology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

The ONDCP stated that the United States is working closely with the United Kingdom, which is the lead nation coordinating international counter-narcotics assistance to the Afghan Government. They are working to provide Afghan farmers real economic alternatives and are supporting the Afghan central government and governors to discourage cultivation and eradicate poppy fields.

To find out more information about the history and dangers of heroin and other opiates, log on to http://www.heroinaddiction.com. To get help for a loved one battling a drug or alcohol addiction, call 1-800-468-6933 or visit http://www.stopaddiction.com.

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Luke Catton
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