DRUGS & CRIME
Discuss the reasons behind the increased use of heroin in recent years. Explain why you believe the international community is unable to control the desire for and trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan?
The use of heroin is on the rise among our nation and is spreading throughout segments of the population, which was once considered unlikely to use. Heroin use has nearly doubled since 2007, growing from 373,000 users a year to 669,000 in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Furthermore, heroin overdose has tripled over the past year. The increase in supply has led to a much cheaper and purer product. The street price for a bag of heroin is about $10 for 7-10 percent purity, which ten years ago was selling for $50-$150 at 2-3 percent purity, says Jack Riley, a special agent with the DEA. Aside from that, heroin has become readily available. Popular opiates like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin have become difficult and costly to obtain from the black market in recent years. Heroin can also be smoked, snorted, or injected, making it more appealing to teenagers and individuals who normally wouldn’t think of using this drug due to a fear of needles.
Afghanistan is by far the main source of heroin and other opiates. I believe that the international community is unable to control the desire for and trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan because this operation brings billions of dollars a year into the country’s economy, sustaining the global heroin trade, funding both the Taliban and government-linked warlords, and heightening government corruption. The Afghan government is going to do the necessary to protect the opium trade by shielding it from policies designed by the United States. Maybe some international countries have financial stakes in Afghanistan’s cash crop, and that’s why the community has failed to curb heroin production. In addition, there may not be enough resources or time to devote...
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