In the study, making meth in Afghanistan was called a growing threat to the health and safety of the country and the region.
Sunday, a report from the UN’s drug agency said that Afghanistan is the country that makes the most methamphetamine and is doing so at the fastest rate. Even though the Taliban declared a war on drugs when they came back to power in August 2021, Afghanistan is also a major source of poppy and heroin.
The United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crimes, which put out the study, said that most meth in Afghanistan is made from substances that can be bought legally or taken from the wild ephedra plant.
The study said that the fact that meth is made in Afghanistan is becoming a bigger threat to national and regional health and security because it could disrupt the market for synthetic drugs and make people more likely to become addicted. It said that people in the European Union and East Africa have found meth they think came from Afghanistan.
The report said that the amount of meth seized from inside the country went from less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in 2019 to nearly 2,700 kilograms (6,000 pounds) in 2021. This suggests that more meth is being made. But it doesn’t have enough information to say how much meth is in the country, how much is being made, or how much is used in the country.
The head of the UNODC’s Research and Trend Analysis Branch, Angela Me, told The Associated Press that making meth, especially in Afghanistan, was better than making heroin or cocaine in several ways.
“You don’t need to wait for something to grow,” I said. “There’s no need for land. You only need cooks and people who know what to do. Meth labs are hidden and can be moved around. Afghanistan also has the ephedra plant, which you can’t find in Myanmar or Mexico, which are the two countries that make the most meth. It is allowed and grows everywhere in Afghanistan. But a lot of it is needed.”
Me said it was too soon to tell how the Taliban’s crackdown on drugs has affected meth sources.
Abdul Mateen Qani, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told the AP that the Taliban-run government has made it illegal to grow, make, sell, and use all drugs and alcohol in Afghanistan.
He said that the government has shut down 644 companies and about 12,000 acres of land where illegal drugs were grown, processed, or made. More than 5,000 raids have happened, and 6,000 people have been jailed.
“We can’t say for sure that it’s over because people can still do these things behind closed doors. “You can’t get it to zero in such a short amount of time,” Qani said. “But we have a four-year plan that will get rid of drugs in general and meth in particular.”
A report from the United Nations that came out in November said that since the Taliban took over, the amount of opium grown has gone up by 32% over the previous year. The report also said that the price of opium went up after the government said it would stop growing it in April 2022. From $425 million in 2021 to $1.4 billion in 2022, farmers’ income from selling opium tripled.
The 2022 study also said that the illegal drug market grew as Afghanistan’s economy dropped sharply, leaving people more likely to grow and sell drugs illegally to make money.
Afghans are still dealing with the effects of decades of war and natural tragedies, such as drought and a very bad economy.
People are falling into poverty, hunger, and drug use because of the economic downturn and the end of foreign aid that helped the economy of the government that used to be backed by the West.
A health worker in Afghanistan, who asked to remain anonymous because he wasn’t allowed to talk to the media, said that about 20,000 people are in hospitals because they are addicted to drugs, mostly crystal meth. 350 of these people are women. He said that children are also being helped, but he didn’t say how many or how old they are.