Laos opiate output is relaxing, the UN finds

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9th December 2014 11:15 - Chemicals

The latest report from the United Nations, on opium in Southeast Asia, has found that production in Myanmar (Burma) and Laos is starting to steady, having not changed much within the year.

The report, which was released by The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Monday 1st December 2014, has shown that in Myanmar and Laos last year, 760 metric tonnes of opiate was produced, over 63,000 hectares of land.

However, the lack of change within opiate output in these areas does not mean that the demand is decreasing. Opiate is still in high demand in China, where there is a high concentration of opium users (1.9 million). Behind China, in terms of having the largest concentration of opiate users are: Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

In Asia as a whole, the UNODC claims that there are some 3.3 million opiate users.

The world’s second biggest region for opium cultivation is known as the “Golden Triangle”, the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

The only area which produces more opium than the “Golden Triangle” is Afghanistan, which produces the largest quantity of heroin in the world.

According to UNODC’s report, the high levels of demand are a result of the vast amount of opium production, which occurs in Southeast Asia.

However, heroin use is falling due to a rising number of people using substances similar to amphetamines.

Tens of thousands of poor farmers, living in hill-tribes are dependent on income from opium production. Those dependent on this field of work often have no other options.

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