Police won’t stop – war in Ukraine could increase drug production


The United Nations estimates that 284 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 use drugs worldwide. Most of these are produced in Afghanistan. According to the annual report, conflict zones act as ‘magnets’ for the production of synthetic drugs. This could now also affect Ukraine because of the war.

“There are no police to patrol and stop laboratories,” explains UNODC (= United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) expert Angela Me. In Ukraine, the number of drug labs closed by authorities has increased sharply in recent years. In 2019 there were only 17, a year later 79 closed amphetamine laboratories. Another possible development, according to the UNOCD, is that drug smuggling routes can be disrupted or postponed.

Most opium (86 percent) is currently produced in the crisis-ravaged country of Afghanistan, although poppy cultivation could increase despite the ban imposed by the ruling Taliban. “Changes in opium production in Afghanistan will affect opiate markets in all regions of the world,” the report said. The organization estimates that 284 million people worldwide used drugs last year. This means that every 18th person between the ages of 15 and 64 has used drugs.

Infections with hepatitis C and HIV
More than 11 million people inject drugs such as heroin with needles. Half of them are infected with hepatitis C, 1.4 million are living with HIV. Soft drugs such as cannabis, marijuana and hashish are also a burden on the health care system. In the European Union, hemp drugs account for about 30 percent of drug therapies. In Western Europe this is associated with an increase in mental illness and in North America, among other things, with an increase in suicides. In addition, the number of hospital admissions has increased. According to the UNOCD, the increasing legalization of cannabis has also resulted in fewer people being arrested and the state collecting more taxes.

New outlets for stronger drugs
The UN agency fears that new markets may emerge for other stronger drugs in the future. It is therefore conceivable that cocaine smuggling will spread not only in North America and Europe, but also in Africa and Asia. Where both conflict and large consumer markets are nearby, more synthetic drugs could be produced.

Source: Krone


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