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A UN investigation claims that methamphetamine trafficking is expanding into new markets, notably Afghanistan, where production has only recently begun.
According to the UNODC‘s yearly World Drug Report, cocaine production and coca bush cultivation reached all-time highs in 2021. The estimated number of cocaine users is continually rising, at 22 million users worldwide.
The analysis underlines that even if cocaine seizures exceed production, the predicted overall supply is less than it was in the middle of the 2000s, indicating some sort of supply restriction.
The UNODC analysis reveals a steady increase in cocaine consumption and manufacturing globally, enhancing the possibility of new markets outside of established geographical areas.
Drug Trafficking Shifts, Afghanistan’s Role Explored
The research indicates that despite the fact that the bulk of meth seizures are concentrated in East and Southeast Asia and North America (90%), trafficking is growing in other regions, including the Middle East and West Africa.
Publications and seizures suggest that in addition to the cultivation of the opium poppy used to produce heroin, illegal drug manufacturing also takes place in Afghanistan. This investigation focuses on Afghanistan’s thriving drug trade.
In light of the ties between the illegal production of heroin and methamphetamine in Afghanistan, the UN research wonders if these two markets would expand simultaneously or if one will finally supplant the other.