Is Heroin use likely to increase in UK?
A UN report released this month has stated that Puli Hisar, a district in Northern Afghanistan has seen a rise in production of opium over the last couple of years. The report suggests that opium poppy farming is experiencing resurgence in the country. In areas where poppy farming existed in 2012, it is expected to expand and other regions that have previously been poppy free for years are set to see new crops.
According to the report 14 of the country’s 34 provinces are now poppy free. In 2010 that number was 20. The large rise in poppy production has prompted experts to predict a record crop for 2013.
Dr Angus Bancroft, a Sociologist at The University of Edinburgh, says more poppy production in Afghanistan is likely to have a direct effect on the heroin trade on British streets. He says its simple economics: more poppy farming means more heroin, which would facilitate a drop in price and an increase in quality. That increase could lead to an increase in overdoses, since users are used to a lower quality of heroin. Increase in quality could also draw more users, says Bancroft. The heroin population may also get younger, he says, as most British users are now in their thirties or older.
Simon Stephens Director of Casework at Addictions UK said: “Whilst increased poppy production could lead to increased heroin use in the UK it is important to remember that this is a global, illegal and secretive trade. It is not possible to track supply and demand like you could for legal products.”
See the full article at vice.com
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