The Issue of Global Heroin Trafficking

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1209 words

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Heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine — a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants and frequently used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria. Due to its vast availability and the impact it has on various facets of the society’s well-being, governments and policymakers need to understand the prevalence of heroin use, the consumers, where the drug comes from, and the health and economic burden it asserts on citizens and governments, as well as letting the direct users understand its psychological and withdrawal consequences. It is clear those Opiates, whether used illicitly such as Heroin or prescribed such as Oxycontin, is highly abused across the globe.

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More than seventy-five per cent of the Heroins consumed globally is produced and manufactured in developing countries of Asia and South America. This part of the world controls almost all the Heroin trafficking activities and routes. Since heroin is consumed globally, though illegally, the traffickers have created intercontinental links which facilitate the trade. For instance, South American countries such as Honduras, Venezuela, and Colombia act as pathways for most of the heroin consumed in North America. Besides, Heroin is shipped to West Africa by gangs merge with terrorists across the Sahara to distribute the drug to different continents. On the other hand, Asian countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan export their Heroin to Europe either through porous borders in Turkey or through the southern route which trespasses the east African coast to South Africa where the drug is exported to either Europe or North America.

Heroin trafficking and production involve criminally organized and desperate gangs who commit many ills in the society such as murder and theft with violence. The most at risk group for misuse of an addiction to illicit Heroin is adolescents and young adults — people between the age of 16-40. Through prescriptions, different forms of “heroin” — opiates are used to treat and improve the quality of life among acute and chronic pain patients. Among these patients, only a little percentage manage to balance between managing pain adequately and the risk for misuse. As a result, many end up succumbing addiction and eventually death.

The transient “Benefits” of heroin abusers tend to be quickly superseded by considerable economic and health burdens on society. However, the producers and illicit heroin traffickers enjoy a substantial amount of profit. This is depicted by the dedication of heroin traffickers to operate in the illicit markets. Countries involved in the heroin trade tend to pay a high political and social price for short-lasting economic advantages. A large percentage of the profits realized from Heroin trafficking remains in the countries which consume the drug. Profits realized from illegal heroin trade are made and reinvested in the developed and industrialized nations. It is clear that, most of the gross profits made from heroin trafficking are generated at the distribution stage. Farmers in the third world Heroin producing countries reap a few dollars from the product, but the value added tax of the same product is more than ninety-nine percent in the consumer nations — industrialized nations. However, many of the financial and economic benefits from Heroin production and trafficking may not be quite advantageous to the countries concerned as they might appear. Some countries may suffer from stagnation of other sectors of the economy which may not be related to drug trafficking. This renders the economy in those nations dependent on one illicit commodity.

The consumption of heroin has long-lasting and permanent health consequences. Heroin can change the normal brain functioning hence interfering with an individual’s ability to make choices. Besides, Heroin abuse can lead to intense cravings and compulsive drug abuse which can turn to addiction. Currently, the world has millions of people who suffer from an illicit drug disorder. As a result, one in every fifteen deaths occurs as a result of heroin consumption. Many deaths, illnesses, and disabilities experienced currently are associated with drug abuse than any other preventable health condition. Individuals suffering from Heroin addiction have a high risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic incidents.

High societal costs are a pervasive consequence which results from Heroin production, trafficking, and consumption. Many murder and criminal cases from the consuming, producing and distributing countries were as a result of Heroin trafficking. Due to the high financial supply needed to support Heroin addiction life, the victims end up indulging in criminal activities. High Heroin consumption affects young adults and adolescents academic performance. The criminal justice systems spend, large amounts of money and time hearing cases of drug victims and also rehabilitating those who have been addicted.

Governments globally are trying to identify and crackdown prescribers who are providing large quantities of narcotics in so-called pill mills. For instance, the United States prescription databases are used to identify the illegal prescribers. This process enables the federal and state governments to distinguish this prescriber from doctors who legitimately practice with populations of pain and cancer patients. Besides, globally, nations are trying to employ television, radios and social media to educate families and society at large about heroin abuse prevention. The global opioid control association has established and implemented medical guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain patients. This has been achieved through quality improvement techniques and performance improvement strategies.

Governments are also trying to make screening of heroin abuse a universal practice. This is mostly used primary care settings to identify and intervene early before addiction sets in and overtakes an individual. Screening, brief motivational interventions and referral for treatment are proven interventions that may counter and prevent heroin addiction. Also, governments are funding drug treatment programs to make them available, affordable and accessible to cater for all Heroin abuse patients. Countries are encouraging insurance benefits which are equivalent to any other covered general medical conditions. As a result, many nations have increased the reimbursement of funds for substance disorder treatment.

In different nations, scholars are encouraging governments to educate doctors, patients and families about what good addiction treatment programs must entail. Medical providers and addiction specialists must appreciate the underlying neuroscience of heroin addiction which helps them to fashion their treatment adequately. Suggestions have been made to make Patients and families informed consumers in order to advocate for effective treatment. In several regions, policymakers are proposing in increment in the availability of treatment centers as well as providing comprehensive treatment for heroin and substance abuse. In addition, researchers are encouraging governments to promote and pay for the use of medication assisted treatment. This means that recovery efforts can include medication — the use of medicines to treat heroin abuse should not be exhorted as a violation of sobriety. Governments and treatment providers are encouraged to keep hope for the patients of heroin abuse since they can recover.

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Some of the strategies set to prevent heroine abuse are proving to be effective. The most effective preventions strategies involved early interventions to counter addiction. Evaluation of the prevention plans is done on the basis of evidence. Many strategies for preventing heroine use have been found to be effective in those countries where citizens have adequate levels of risk awareness. It has become clear that heroine abuse prevention strategies will become effective when consumer protection become relevant issues for health policy and the society at large.

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The Issue Of Global Heroin Trafficking. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 26, 2023, from
“The Issue Of Global Heroin Trafficking.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021,
The Issue Of Global Heroin Trafficking. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Sept. 2023].
The Issue Of Global Heroin Trafficking [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Sept 26]. Available from:
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