The Stream

What’s fueling Afghanistan’s meth boom?

On Wednesday, December 9 at 19:30GMT:
Afghanistan, the heroin capital of the world, is rapidly becoming a major producer of another illicit drug, methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth.

According to a new report from The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, those involved in Afghanistan’s drug trade recently discovered the mountain shrub ephedra could be used in place of over-the-counter drugs containing ephedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamine. The report also noted the plant has been used in other parts of the world to create meth but not at the level of production currently seen in Afghanistan.

The discovery is seen as a potential gamechanger for drug traffickers, making meth cheaper, easier to produce and more profitable.

On this episode of The Stream we speak with the lead author of that report about this turning point in Afghanistan’s drug trade, and the consequences, both global and domestic, that come with it.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
David Mansfield, @mansfieldintinc
Independent Consultant

Mark Colhoun, @UNODC
Afghanistan Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Muqaddesa Yourish, @YourishM
Country Director, Lapis Communication