The Opium Farmers of Myanmar
The Fix - The most recent figures, released in 2014 by UNODC, show that poppy cultivation has more than doubled since 2006. A report by the Transnational Institute (TNI) sheds light on the reasons behind this increase.
“[UNODC] figures are, at best, guesstimates, and are not scientific data,” advises a report by the Transnational Institute (TNI), an international research and advocacy organization. “Before 1970 most men used opium recreationally,” says an elderly man from neighboring Kachin State interviewed in the TNI report. “Women and children did not use opium recreationally but 90% of the households did use opium as a medicine against diarrhea, fever or to treat gunshot wounds… It was a healthy drug.” However, now “Kachin State and northern Shan State in [Myanmar] are facing a heroin epidemic,” reads the TNI report. “With problematic injecting heroin use being widespread among young people.” They estimate there are currently 300,000 addicts in Myanmar.
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