The World Heroin Market: Can Supply Be Cut?

The World Heroin Market: Can Supply Be Cut?

The World Heroin Market: Can Supply Be Cut?

The World Heroin Market: Can Supply Be Cut?

Synopsis

Heroin is universally considered the world's most harmful illegal drug. This is due not only to the damaging effects of the drug itself, but also to the spread of AIDS tied to its use. Burgeoning illegal mass consumption in the 1960s and 1970s has given rise to a global market for heroin and other opiates of nearly 16 million users. The production and trafficking of opiates have caused crime, disease, and social distress throughout the world, leading many nations to invest billions of dollars trying to suppress the industry. The failure of their efforts has become a central policy concern. Can the world heroin supply actually be cut, and with what consequences? The result of a five-year-long research project involving extensive fieldwork in six Asian countries, Colombia, and Turkey, this book is the first systematic analysis of the contemporary world heroin market, delving into its development and structure, its participants, and its socio-economic impact. It provides a sound and comprehensive empirical base for concluding that there is little opportunity to shrink the global supply of heroin in the long term, and explains why production is concentrated in a handful of countries--and is likely to remain that way. on the basis of these findings, the authors identify a key set of policy opportunities, largely local, and make suggestions for leveraging them. This book also offers new insights into market conditions in India, Tajikistan, and other countries that have been greatly harmed by the production and trafficking of illegal opiates. A deft integration of economics, sociology, history, and policy analysis, The World Heroin Market provides a rigorous and vital look into the complex--and resilient--global heroin trade.

Excerpt

Representatives of 13 countries laid the foundation for the international drug control regime 100 years ago in Shanghai, with the adoption of 9 resolutions on the control of opium. Nevertheless, the list of problems uniting the rich and poor still includes the flow of illegal drugs across national borders, causing crime, disease, and social distress throughout much of the world. Heroin, in particular, is a chronic problem, the result of the development of mass markets in the 1960s and ‘70s, made even more urgent by the emergence of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) associated with injecting drug use in countries as varied as Russia, Thailand, and the United States.

During the past 50 years, leaders of many nations have denounced the drug traffic and resolved to suppress it through increasingly prohibitionist means. Many have emphasized the role of international controls and programs as central to that effort. In 1998, at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS, 1998: clause 19), leaders pledged jointly to develop strategies for “eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008.” Since then, world opium production has increased dramatically.

However, this bad news masks the quite complex changes of the past decade. The world’s two largest opium-producing countries, Afghanistan and Burma, have experienced major upheavals. In less than 12 months from the start of the new century, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan achieved what most scholars and policy makers had thought to be impossible—namely, it cut Afghanistan’s illicit opium production by more than 90% from peak levels, amounting to a 65% reduction in world production. Several years later, with . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.