OPIUM

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

How­ever, Mr. Payne ar­gues that the over­all is­sue is the de­mand for il­licit drugs.

“Ob­vi­ously, global drug de­mand both here in the U.S. and else­where is what’s driv­ing this,” he said. “We need to fig­ure out how to re­duce drug de­mand.”

Al­though drug us­age over­all has gone down in the U.S. about 35 per­cent since 1979, de­mand is still strong.

In Jan­uary, the DEA as­sisted Afghans with a search war­rant on a pre­cur­sor stor­age com­pound in Kan­da­har, Afghanistan. A large amount of pre­cur­sor chem­i­cals ac­quired from Pak­istan were be­ing stored for heroin pro­cess­ing labs in south­ern Afghanistan. As a re­sult of the oper­a­tion, an ar­rest was made and over 12 met­ric tons of heroin pre­cur­sor chem­i­cals were seized and de­stroyed.

In Fe­bru­ary, the DEA and Afghan law en­force­ment seized and de­stroyed two hero­in­pro­cess­ing labs, ap­prox­i­mately 20 kilo­grams opium, two opium presses, 415 kilo­grams of am­mo­nium chlo­ride, 154 liters of acetic an­hy­dride, 415 kilo­grams char­coal, 50 kilo­grams soda ash, one gen­er­a­tor, 50 55-gal­lon bar­rels, two scales, four hy­draulic jacks, two vats, as well as additional miscellaneous lab equip­ment in the Sherzad District in the Afghan prov­ince of Nan­garhar. Also seized were two AK-47 as­sault ri­fles, one bolt-ac­tion ri­fle and two as­sault ri­fle chest rigs.

Sur­veys con­ducted by the Sub­stance Abuse and Men­tal Health Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion, a branch of the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, found that heroin us­age is on the rise across the U.S.

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