(Sources of Heroin Trafficked to European Union) "Heroin is the most common opioid on the European drug market. Imported heroin has historically been available in Europe in two forms: the more common is brown heroin (its chemical base form), originating mainly from Afghanistan. Far less common is white heroin (a salt form), which historically came from South-East Asia, but now may also be produced in Afghanistan or in neighbouring countries.
(Trends in Drug-Related Mortality and Injection-Related HIV in Switzerland) "Drug-related deaths, most of which are a consequence of heroin dependence, have declined since the early 1990s, from 350-400 per annum to 150-200 per annum in this decade. HIV infections related to injecting drug use have also declined. This may reflect a modest decline in injecting, as opposed to smoking or snorting, of heroin, a decline in needle sharing among users because of Syringe Exchange Programs and the lower population of heroin dependent users."
(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) "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."
(Human Rights and Heroin-Assisted Treatment) "Heroin prescription is consistent with a number of state responsibilities under international human rights instruments.
(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$1 billion opiate trade in Pakistan."
(Money Laundering and the Global Opiate Market) "Of the US$ 65 billion turnover of the global market for opiates, only 5-10 per cent (US$ 3-5 billion) are estimated to be laundered by informal banking systems. The rest is laundered through legal trade activities (including smuggling of legal goods into Afghanistan) and the banking system."
(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) "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"