A United Nations report has stated that methamphetamine trafficking in and around Afghanistan has increased in recent years, while the Taliban has reduced heroin trafficking since coming to power. The executive director of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called for immediate attention to this issue. Although the Taliban announced a ban on narcotics production in Afghanistan, the trafficking of methamphetamine has intensified since then. Meth seizures in and around Afghanistan have increased by 12 times in the past five years, with neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan also reporting increased seizures. Methamphetamine originating from Afghanistan has even been seized in countries as far away as France and Australia. The UNODC reveals that much of the meth in Afghanistan is made using precursor ingredients found in some cold and flu medications. While Afghanistan has the ephedra plant that can be used to make meth, the UNODC explains that the country’s production does not solely depend on this plant due to the quantities needed and the risk of unreliable crops. The UNODC emphasizes that common cold medications and industrial-grade chemicals pose a greater threat for the manufacture of methamphetamine.
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