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Latest Opium Stories

2008-08-17 21:00:13

From 1998 to 2006, the number of methadone prescriptions increased by 700 percent, according to DEA figures. Between 1999 and 2005, deaths that had methadone listed as a contributor increased nearly fivefold, to 4,462, a number that federal statisticians say is understated because states do not always specify the drugs in overdoses. By Erik Eckholm and Olga Pierce The New York Times Suffering from excruciating spinal deterioration, Robby Garvin, 24, of South Carolina, tried many...

2008-08-17 12:10:00

Methadone's increasing use as an all-purpose painkiller has also made it the fastest growing cause of narcotic deaths in the United States, statistics indicate. Because the cheap synthetic form of opium has sometimes been abused by users or poorly prescribed by doctors, methadone is now involved in more than twice as many deaths as heroin, The New York Times reported Sunday. "This is a wonderful medicine used appropriately, but an unforgiving medicine used inappropriately," said Dr. Howard...

2008-07-24 21:00:34

By David Allen, The Shelby Star, N.C. Jul. 24--Updated 3:47 p.m.: The Cleveland County Sheriff's Office along with the State Bureau of Investigation made it a mission about four months ago to target prescription pill pushers and poppers. The operation has hit hard --four arrests this week, two other suspects and seizures of $33,000 in possible drug money and more than 1,000 pills. But officials are still on the hunt for more. "There will be more arrests," said Lt. Joel Shores,...

2008-07-04 03:00:20

Text of report in English by South Korean news agency Yonhap [By Kim Hyon] SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) - Several Afghan and Pakistani men with apparent ties to the Taleban were arrested in suburban Seoul on charges of smuggling tonnes of a chemical agent used in making heroine, police said Friday. The suspects - two Afghans and three Pakistanis who operated in separate groups - attempted to use South Korea, a relatively drug- free nation where monitoring is loose, as a shipping point for...

2006-08-22 05:33:22

By Yousuf Azmiy KABUL (Reuters) - Drugs pose a far greater threat to Afghanistan than terrorism but the international community is not doing enough to tackle the scourge, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, the raw material for heroin, and production is expected to rise to record levels this year as drug barons and Taliban insurgents cash in on the harvest. "Once, we thought terrorism was Afghanistan's biggest enemy," Karzai...

2006-08-17 15:43:59

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NATO's top general appealed to the international community on Thursday to do more to curb Afghanistan's growing drug trade, which he said is helping finance a resurgent Taliban and fueling instability. "It certainly cries out for more international focus," said U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, NATO's supreme allied commander Europe. Jones, briefing reporters at the Pentagon, also said NATO troops who assumed control of security in volatile...

2006-07-29 11:16:37

By Jeremy Laurence KABUL (Reuters) - NATO's expansion into southern Afghanistan will target drug warlords who are the root cause of growing violence, the force's commander said on Saturday. NATO will embark on the biggest mission in its history on Monday when it takes over security from the U.S.-led coalition in six southern provinces, extending its authority to almost all of the country. British Lieutenant-General David Richards said he hoped to see improvements in the south within...

2006-07-26 16:05:47

By Gene Emery BOSTON (Reuters) - The drug Suboxone may help opium addicts kick their habit, but it makes little difference whether taken once or three times a week or whether patients also receive intensive counseling, a new study shows. About 40 percent of 166 volunteers passed their urine tests in a 24-week study, regardless of which combination of counseling and Suboxone therapy they received. Without the drug, only about 5 percent would probably have had a clean urine sample,...

2006-07-11 19:21:09

By Christine Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Afghan drug lord accused of conspiring to ship $25 million worth of heroin into the United States pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge on Tuesday. "Yes, I'm guilty," Baz Mohammad, 48, told judge Denny Chin in Manhattan federal court. As part of his plea agreement, he admitted he was a major player in "the substance business" and "the powder business" of importing heroin. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison but is likely to...

2006-06-27 08:20:00

By Palash Kumar NEW DELHI -- Peace on the India-Pakistan border has kept the guns silent for years now, but it has also led to a surge in the illegal drugs trade in a region called the "golden crescent," the United Nations said on Tuesday. "Three to four years ago, when there was tension on the border, the average seizure of opium routed from Afghanistan into India, was about 50 kg (110 lb) per year," Gary Lewis, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),...