facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Pakistan Faces Growing Opium Scourge

The country's drug problem is expected to worsen when troops leave neighboring Afghanistan.

Image: 

In Pakistan, drugs are "available like
peanuts." Photo via

By May Wilkerson

11/29/12

| Share

Pakistan's already-rampant drug problem is likely to worsen after withdrawal of troops from neighboring Afghanistan—the world's leading producer of opium. The supply of opium and heroin (an opium derivative) into Pakistan has significantly increased over the past five years, according to analysts, prompting a swell in drug use and addiction. Estimates of the number of Pakistani drug users currently range from 600,000 to 9 million, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, with the actual number probably somewhere in between. "[Drugs] are available like peanuts," says Dr. Saleem Azam, head of a rehab center in Karachi. "You are sitting in your office, you are sitting in your bedroom, you are sitting in your living room, you can call a person and he will drop the drug at your doorstep." The country's drug imports are expected to surge further when foreign combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, loosening any control there currently is over opium production and smuggling in the region. According to the UN, the amount of Afghan farmland devoted to growing opium poppies has jumped by 20% over the last year.

Most Popular
Sober Living
How I Forgave the Woman Who Helped My Son Die of an Overdose

She introduced him to the drug that eventually killed him. It took a long time, but eventually I had to treat her the way my son would have wanted.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv