One of the most painful and agonizing problems of today’s world is the increasing use and production of drugs and narcotics. The developed countries like UK, USA, Japan and even the countries like Pakistan and India have been trying their best to put a strict check on the production and use of narcotics but they have yet not succeeded in wiping off this ‘evil’ from their societies. However, the situation in Afghanistan like war-stricken countries is more horrible as there is no one willing to tackle with this epidemic-like menace. Recently United Nations Office on Drugs and Narcotics released a report on production of poppy and opium in Afghanistan. According to the report a record high 63% in 2017 was observed in production of opium and poppy. The report says the factors behind this horrible increase are political instability, lack of government control, poor security and corruption of the government machinery responsible for keeping an eye on illegal cultivation of opium and poppy. During the last year of Taliban governance, the production was reduced to merely 221 tons which has now reached 9,000 tons in 2017; earlier in 2016 it was 4,800 tons. The rate of increase is somewhere around 87%. During that period, the US authorities had been blaming that the Taliban were sponsoring the poppy crop but the facts and figures are telling an absolutely different story. According to the UN report poppy cultivation has expanded in the areas of Balkh, Jowzjan, Baghlan, and Sari Pul provinces which had never been under Taliban control. More interesting is the fact that these areas were entirely free of poppy-production a few years back. It is a common notion that the production of narcotics in Afghanistan has manifold increased with the increase of the US influence and interference in Afghanistan. Analysts say that the US and other invading actors require huge funds for running their covert operations in Afghanistan and there could be no other source more lucrative than drugs and narcotics in this regard. So they have to promote and supervise the illegal production of narcotics. And this is nothing new; organizations like CIA and Black Water also use such means of ‘fund-raising’ for the completion of the missions assigned to them. Unfortunately this basic reason is the biggest hurdle in the way to curb the menace of use and production of narcotics in USA, Afghanistan and other countries. War torn countries like Afghanistan provide more cordial environment for such harmfully illegal activities.
In July 2016, The Global Research published an article of Timothy Alexander Guzman. The writer referred to a report of The Center for Disease Control published in 2015. It said that heroin use in the United States increased 63% from 2002 through 2013. The writer said commenting upon the present situation, “Fast forward to 2016, heroin is sweeping across the United States at unprecedented levels.” The article further said, “In the suburbs of Long Island, NY, heroin use is an increasing problem. According to www.suburbanheroin.com a website devoted to the heroin epidemic on Long Island states that in 2012 – 2013 more than 242 people died from heroin use. Long Island is home to some of the wealthiest communities in New York State which goes to show that heroin is affecting all neighborhoods rich and poor.” It shows that use of drugs and narcotics is not limited to some particular strata of US society and this fact also indicates towards the reality that some of the US soldiers posted there in Afghanistan might be addicted to drugs and narcotics. It has also been reported in media that a high number of Afghan Defence Forces personnel is also habitual poppy user and hence carries low morale and physical health. This all is happening in Afghanistan under very watchful eyes of the USA, no doubt an elite superpower of the world. USA most of the time plays a very positive role in making the world a place worth living , though the people living in the South-Asian region may have an opinion otherwise. The menace of use and production of drugs and narcotics could not be controlled rather crushed down unless the US accepts it as a challenge. Particularly in Afghanistan, all terrorist and criminal activities would simply start breathing their last if the production and use of poppy and opium is successfully controlled as the production of poppy and opium provides ‘Financial Oxygen’ to these evil activities. This is certainly not an easy job but the world around is very much confident that US has all ability of changing every impossible into possible. With the determination of US, Afghanistan could very soon become a land free of drugs and narcotics.