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Afghan Overdose

Inside Opium Trade

When it comes to heroin, a non-intervention policy is still going strong in Afghanistan where over 90% of the world’s black market opium is produced. Most finds its way onto the international drug market and the profits fund organized crime and terrorist groups like ISIS, which is growing in strength here.

Related: Russian soldier left behind in Afghanistan reunites with his family 30 years later

The dealers and manufacturers aren’t hard to find: they live in luxurious houses, have fields blooming with poppies and sell their narcotic wares in broad daylight. Even so, they still manage to evade arrest. Poppy fields are destroyed and drugs seized but it’s only ever the middle men who are punished, not the drug lords. There’s been a NATO military presence in the country for 14 years now but still, drugs production continues to grow. 

Related: Russia's fight against heroin traffickers

Local people suffer from the drug business too, around 18% of the capital’s population are drug addicts.  The places where drugs are sold and used are well known but the police are powerless to act. Mafia wars drive civilians from their land in the southern regions, forcing them into refugee camps in their own country. Opium growers get rich by plunging fellow citizens into the depths of misery. 
RT Doc’s investigative team visited Afghanistan to document the Police’s losing battle against opium producers and its effect on the rest of the country. They talk to police officers, drug users and opium growers in search of a fuller picture and to ask why this massive and life-destroying industry continues to flourish.

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