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Sellers of Opioid in Afghanistan target 87,000 Nigerians, Other users heroin – UNODC

T.I Ukende
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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) sounded the alarm on Wednesday regarding the increase in opioid production in Afghanistan in 2021. 

The UNODC warning comes as the country accounts for the heroin supply to 80% of global consumers, including 87,000 Nigerians. 

UNODC, in a statement released in Abuja, said the eight percent harvest increase to 6,800 tonnes means more heroin production, as the United Nations and industry experts met in Vienna in Austria, to deliberate on the fight against ‘illicit opium, the harvest in Afghanistan increased by eight percent in 2021 compared to last year, to reach 6,800 tonnes, which could lead to flooding markets around the world by around 320 tonnes of pure heroin from the country ”. 

According to UNODC’s short research on ‘The Drug Situation in Afghanistan 2021 – Latest Findings and Emerging Threats’, Afghan opioids supply eight in ten consumers globally, while Afghanistan accounted for 85% of global production of opium in 2020. 

“In Nigeria, according to the 2018 Drug Use Survey, there were 87,000, mostly injecting heroin users in the country to promote sustainable reductions in the cultivation, production and demand of illicit drugs, as part of the overall UN support to the Afghan people, ”he said. 

UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly said, According to the results of UNODC research, Afghan opioid revenues ranged between $ 1.8 billion and $ 2.7 billion in 2021 in Afghanistan, but much larger profits were made in chains of opioids illegal drug supply outside the country.

He added that increasing political uncertainty in Afghanistan since August 2021 was pushing up opium prices, which nearly doubled in August compared to May, he stated. 

The UNODC brief also warned that alongside the increase in opium and heroin production, methamphetamine production in Afghanistan, using wild ephedra as a precursor, has increased dramatically in recent years. 

The global opioid market could push for further expansion of the production of methamphetamine, as well as that of other synthetic drugs, ”he added.

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