Vienna, September 10 (EFE) – Afghanistan has become a major producer of methamphetamine, according to a United Nations report released on Sunday, which warned of the “threats” the change poses and could mean Market changes. Medicines that have traditionally been opioid-based in this country.
“Methamphetamine trafficking in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries has surged, with seizures of the drug sharply increasing nearly 12-fold in five years, from 2.5 tons in 2017 to 29.7 tons in 2021,” the report states. crime problems (UNODC).
The U.N. agency noted that the illicit production of the narcotic drug posed a “growing threat” and said shipments believed to be from Alfagistan had been seized in regions including the European Union, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa.
UNODC said the increase in seizures showed Afghanistan had become a major producer of methamphetamine.
The report notes that while trafficking in heroin, the main drug that traditionally originates from Afghanistan, continues, it has declined since the Taliban returned to power in August 2021 and the imposition of a ban in April 2002.
However, the UN agency noted that methamphetamine trafficking has increased since the ban was enacted.
“The increase in methamphetamine trafficking in Afghanistan and the region signals significant changes in illicit drug markets that require our immediate attention,” UNODC Executive Director Ghada Wali warned in a statement.
The report also analyzes the different production methods of the drug, primarily the use of ephedrine.
UNODC noted that while attention in recent years has focused on obtaining the substance from the ephedra plant, the rapid growth in methamphetamine trafficking is unlikely to be based solely on this source.
“While the short-term cost of use is low, the large quantities of ephedra required, unreliable harvests and intensive labor make it unlikely that Afghanistan’s rapidly expanding methamphetamine trade will be entirely dependent on ephedra,” the report said.
UNODC said common cold medicines that are a source of ephedrine, or the bulk industrial-grade substance, “are more effective and profitable for the manufacture of methamphetamine, so they pose a greater threat.”
To this end, the UN agency said international cooperation is crucial to prevent the diversion and smuggling of chemical precursors and to halt the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.Effie