Round and round we go


We live in a world where seemingly unrelated actions can have implications far beyond their place of origin. Such is the case of the global heroin trade. An article from The Week, Why is heroin so cheap? brings up interesting points as to how a conflict in one region can affect the output and availability of a commodity such as heroin. The consequences can be unintended, or much more sinister. I’m reminded of another profit-centered drug, one that brought a major power to its knees. The Opium Wars of the 19th century were a direct attempt to wrest control of Chinese silver. The victorious British won the right to export opium sourced from their colony, India. The Americans for their part were not guiltless in the debacle, bringing in their own supply from Turkey. The net result: upwards of 10% of the Chinese population became hard-core addicts and totally nonfunctional as a result. This is something policy makers might want to consider when crafting a treatment strategy based on handing out drugs. Maybe the money would be better spent on recovery resources; a cure as opposed to a band aid.


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