The annual death toll from use of Afghan heroin in NATO countries exceeds the total number of deaths among the troops of these nations during the entire course of the Afghan war, according to a new report from the United Nations.
CNN reported Oct. 21 that the U.N. said the biggest global threat from the Taliban is, by far, the drugs created from Afghan opium poppies, which the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said is responsible for 100,000 deaths each year worldwide.
The $65-billion global market for heroin, opium and morphine also helps fund terrorist and insurgent operations, including up to $600 million annually for the Taliban.
Law-enforcement seizes only about 20 percent of illicit opiate traffic, according to the report, Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: the Transnational Threat of Afghan Opium.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the U.N. office that produced the report, said that solution is clear: “We need a much greater effort and commitment by governments to prevent drug addiction, to take care of drug addicts … to reduce demand,” he said.