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Afghanistan's opium production has almost doubled in the past year


The majority of the world's opium comes out of Afghanistan, and it has increased by 87 percent over the past year according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) 2017 Afghan Opium Survey.

The Afghanistan is the world's largest cultivator of the poppy, and both opium and heroin are products of the poppy plant.

The survey, released Wednesday, says the record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation continue to create challenges for Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the opium's other destination countries, like the United States.

Last month, President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic the a national emergency. According the the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 90 people overdose in the United States every day.

"It is high time for the international community and Afghanistan to reprioritize drug control," said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov in a statement. "Every nation has a shared responsibility for this global problem."

Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the UNODC said the area under opium poppy cultivation has also increased to a record 328,000 hectares (810,488 acres) in 2017, up 63 percent compared with the 201,000 hectares (496,671 acres) that cultivated the poppy in 2016.

In 2017, government organized poppy eradication took place in 14 provinces, but six people were killed and eight injured in attacks by the Taliban and drug traffickers.

Fighting the production and distribution are made more difficult because the Taliban, a terrorist network that has been fighting the Afghan government since 2001, is heavily involved in the trade of opium.

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