Wars in Afghanistan have ruined the country’s economy, but NATO continues to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on efforts to eradicate one of the only income-generating crops: opium.
Decades of conflict in Afghanistan have left the country’s economy in shambles. The United States’ approach to combating drugs in Afghanistan is to eradicate crops and criminalize the cultivators. This approach ignores the lack of economic alternatives that drives many farmers to plant poppy crops, and it does little to help those addicted to opium. As of 2007, the U.S. and Britain devoted $800 million per year to eradicating poppy crops, yet only 10 percent of addicts in Afghanistan receive any sort of drug treatment. This short film takes an on-the-ground look at the issue of opium production in Afghanistan. It features interviews with Afghan women who have overcome addiction but who speak to the economic realities that contribute to the persistence of the drug trade.