Prevalence and Trends in Heroin Use in Switzerland

(Prevalence and Trends in Heroin Use in Switzerland) "Heroin has been, at least until very recently, the principal drug problem for Switzerland, as for most Western European nations. In the mid-1990s Switzerland had a heroin addiction prevalence that may have been the highest in Europe. Switzerland’s heroin problem has been declining steadily over the last decade. The estimates of the size of the group are crude but show a reduction from about 29, 000 in 1994 to 23,000 in 2002, the most recent year for which an estimate is available.

Political Opposition to Heroin-Assisted Treatment

(Political Opposition to Heroin-Assisted Treatment) "The existing interference and non-evidence-based opposition from politicians and care providers, who refuse to acknowledge the limitations of methadone maintenance and the superiority of prescribed heroin in selected populations, is arguably unethical. Denying effective second-line therapy to those in need ultimately serves to condemn many users of illicit heroin to the all too common outcomes of untreated heroin addiction, including HIV infection or death from overdose."

UN Estimate of Taliban Opium Revenue

(UN Estimate of Taliban Opium Revenue) "When the Taliban were in power (in the late 1990s) they extracted US$ 75-100 million a year from taxing opium. In the 2005-2008 period the cumulative revenue from opiate farming and trade accruing to Taliban insurgents is estimated at US$ 350-650 million, or an annual average of US$ 90-160 million in Afghanistan alone. This estimate does not include insurgents’ potential revenues from other drug-related activities (labs, imports of precursors) in Afghanistan and from the US$1 billion opiate trade in Pakistan."

Global Opiate Seizures

(Global Opiate Seizures) "The world only intercepts one fifth of the global opiate flows every year, with very mixed performances at the country level. The Islamic Republic of Iran has the highest seizures rate, at 20 per cent. Next are China (18 per cent) and Pakistan (17 per cent). In the two main source countries, Afghanistan and Myanmar, seizures represent only 2 per cent each of the world total. An equally insignificant 2 per cent is seized in South-Eastern Europe, the last segment of the Balkan route to Europe.

Afghan Corruption Problems

(Afghan Corruption Problems) "Afghanistan currently ranks in the second lowest percentile on the World Bank’s corruption index.293 A significant component of this index is based on the activities of corruption prone government agencies. Survey after survey reveals the Afghan perception of law enforcement and courts as among the most corrupt institutions in the country.294 A 2006 poll by the Asia Foundation found that 77 per cent of Afghans believed corruption was a problem at the national level.295"

Value of Heroin Trade in Russia and Central Asia

(Value of Heroin Trade in Russia and Central Asia) "It is important to note that profits made from trafficking Afghan opiates into Central Asia (USD 344 million) in 2010 are dwarfed by the net profit pocketed by criminals trafficking onwards to the Russian Federation, which was around US$ 1.4 billion in 2010. This calculation does not include other drugs such as those of the cannabis group, which are also trafficked through the region.