The simple chart below from the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime beautifully illustrates the next leg up in America’s opioid crisis.
If you thought today’s situation was bad - think again. Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opium just logged a record crop harvest this year doubling last year’s production. Some how - some way, Afghanistan’s opium will find its way into a neighborhood near you.
According to VOANEWS,
Last year, poppies were cultivated on 201,000 hectares, yielding 4,700 tons of opium, up 46 percent from 2015.
Sources told VOA’s Pashto service more than 10,000 tons of opium were produced this year. Opium then can be refined into heroin.
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that opium accounted for some 16 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product last year, including more than two-thirds of the entire agricultural sector.
In addition to fueling insecurity, violence and insurgency, the drug production is discouraging private and public investment, a UNODC report said.
This is a bad sign for President Trump who opted to call the opioid crisis a ‘public emergency’ rather than a full-blown ‘national emergency’.
Highlights from Trump’s opioid crisis speech:
- In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids.
- Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids.
- Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths.
- In 2015, there were 52,404 drug overdose deaths — 33,091 of those deaths, almost two-thirds, involved the use of opioids.
- The situation has only gotten worse, with drug overdose deaths in 2016 expected to exceed 64,000.
- This represents a rate of 175 deaths a day.
Visualizing Afghanistan’s opium production verse America’s opioid overdose deaths…Notice the correlation?
The opioid epidemic ‘getting worse instead of better,’ public health officials warn...
As President Trump embarks on a twelve-day, five nation Asia tour, we the American people trapped state-side, should batten down the hatches for the next wave of opioids set to flood America’s streets.
Perhaps, while President Trump is in China, he could talk to the Chinese about fentanyl, otherwise if left ignored - expect synthetic opium in a neighborhood near you.