July 21st, 2011
09:10 AM ET

Huge poppy seed cache confiscated in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan - Nearly half a million of pounds of opium poppy seeds have been confiscated in southwestern Afghanistan during a joint raid by NATO and Afghan National Security forces, officials said.

The operation took place Wednesday in the Delaram district of Nimroz province, which borders Iran.

The find represents the largest uncovered by Afghan and coalition forces this year, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Seddiqi.

The opium poppy can be used to make heroin and other drugs, and is considered a staple of insurgent funding. FULL POST

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Filed under: Drug trade
Generations of opium addiction
January 24th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Generations of opium addiction

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan - In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan, Aziza reaches into the dark wooden cupboard, rummages around, and pulls out a small lump of something wrapped in plastic.

She unwraps it, breaking off a small chunk as if it were chocolate, and feeds it to four-year-old son, Omaidullah. It's his breakfast - a lump of pure opium.

Read the full story from CNN's Arwa Damon

Filed under: Drug trade • Life and Culture
November 1st, 2010
11:34 AM ET

Russian troops join the drug war in Afghanistan

CNN's Matthew Chance speaks to Russian drugs chief Victor Ivanov as Russian troops join the drug war in Afghanistan.

October 29th, 2010
09:20 AM ET

Drug raids net $56m worth of heroin in Afghanistan

U.S. and Russian authorities seized nearly $56 million worth of high-quality heroin in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province this week, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was the first time Russia deployed military personnel to work with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  FULL STORY


Filed under: Daily Developments • Drug trade
UN: Afghan opium production down
September 30th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

UN: Afghan opium production down

Opium production has dropped significantly in Afghanistan, in large part because of a plant infection in the country's war-torn south, a U.N. report said on Thursday.

"This is good news but there is no room for false optimism; the market may again become lucrative for poppy-crop growers so we have to monitor the situation closely," said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

Filed under: Drug trade • United Nations
August 18th, 2010
06:05 PM ET

'Alarming' rate of drug use among women, children

KABUL — The 18 women sit cross-legged on metal beds, wearing long, loose dresses and nightgowns, their heads completely covered with shawls. They do not want us to see them. Some of them are holding babies in their laps.

They are addicted to heroin and opium, products of Afghanistan's richest and cruelest crop, poppies. Some of their infants are addicted, too. FULL POST

July 1st, 2010
09:37 AM ET

Taliban district chief captured in firefight

International and Afghan security forces wounded and captured a Taliban district chief and killed a "large number" of insurgents in a four-hour firefight, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Thursday.

The battle took place in a compound outside a village in the Baghran district of Afghanistan's Helmand province after insurgents opened fire on security forces with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, ISAF said. FULL POST

Filed under: Drug trade • Operation Moshtarak • Taliban
June 22nd, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Report: Afghan drug addiction twice global average

Nearly 1 million Afghans between the ages of 15 and 64 are drug addicts, according to a new survey.

That would be about 8 percent of the population, or twice the global average, according to a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. FULL POST

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Filed under: Drug trade
June 17th, 2010
08:27 AM ET

False truck floor reveals opium stash

In the Garmser District of Helmand province, a NATO International Security Assistance Force patrol found 450 kilograms of opium in a truck and detained the driver and a passenger. FULL POST

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Filed under: Drug trade
June 3rd, 2010
01:15 PM ET

Australian case sparks look at drug use among troops

Illegal drugs may have been the cause of an Australian soldier's illness last week, according to the Australian Department of Defense. The military said Thursday it had launched an investigation, including drug testing for others in the soldier's unit.

“As the investigation is ongoing, no findings are yet available, however, a bottle of pills and, separately, white powder – thought to be an opiate – were found in the soldier’s room,” Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, chief of the Australian Defense Force, said in a prepared statement.

The soldier, in his third deployment to Afghanistan, was found unconscious in his room at Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan last Friday. He remains in serious condition at a military hospital in Germany. FULL POST

Filed under: Drug trade • Troops