Updated 01:44 | Published at 01:04
In Afghanistan, the production of methamphetamine has increased sharply since the Taliban banned the cultivation of poppies, which are used to make heroin and opium.
Now the UN warns that Afghanistan is now one of the world’s fastest growing producers of methamphetamine.
In April 2022, the Taliban banned the cultivation of poppies, which are used to make the drugs heroin and opium. This has led to the country’s production of methamphetamine intensifying. Afghanistan is now considered one of the world’s fastest growing producers of the drug, according to a UN report presented in September.
One reason for the increasing production of methamphetamine is believed to be that no land is needed for cultivation, said Angela Me, head of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention.
– You don’t have to wait for something to grow. You don’t need land, all you need are the cooks and the knowledge of manufacturing. The methamphetamine labs are mobile and easy to hide, she says.
Another reason for the increased production is that the ephedra plant – which is used in the production of methamphetamine – grows wild in Afghanistan. The plant does not occur naturally in several other countries with large production of methamphetamine, according to the UN.
Despite the Taliban’s ban on drugs, the country remains a major producer of both opium and heroin. So far, the authorities have cracked down on and closed 644 factories that produced illegal substances. In total, over 6,000 people have been arrested in raids on the drug factories.
War-torn Afghanistan has been hit by severe drought in recent years and has major economic problems after aid to the country was largely cut off following the Taliban takeover.