A new United Nations report estimates that Afghan opium kills 100,000 people every year worldwide, reports CNN. About 15 million people around the world use heroin, opium or morphine, fueling a $65 billion market for the drug and also fueling terrorism and insurgencies. The Taliban raised as much as $600 million over the past four years by taxing opium farmers and traffickers, according to the report.
Some Afghan officials profit from the trade, including federal and provincial authorities, as well as army and police leaders. Authorities are seizing too little heroin, intercepting only about 20 percent of opiate traffic around the world, according to the U.N. report, “Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: the Transnational Threat of Afghan Opium.”