The GOLDEN CRESCENT is the name given to one of
Asia 's two principal
areas of illicit opium production (with the other being the Golden
Triangle ), located at the crossroads of Central , South , and Western
Asia . This space overlaps three nations,
Iran , and
Pakistan , whose mountainous peripheries define the crescent.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) heroin
production estimates for the past 10 years show significant changes in
the primary source areas. In 1991,
Afghanistan became the world's
primary opium producer, with a yield of 1,782 metric tons (U.S. State
Department estimates), surpassing
Myanmar , formerly the world leader
in opium production. The decrease in heroin production from
the result of several years of unfavorable growing conditions and new
government policies of forced eradication. Afghan heroin production
increased during the same time frame, with a notable decrease in 2001
allegedly as a result of the
Taliban 's fatwa against heroin
Afghanistan now produces over 90% of the world\'s
non-pharmaceutical-grade opium . In addition to opiates ,
Afghanistan is also the world's largest producer of hashish .
* 1 History
* 2 Markets
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Black tar opium seized in Afghanistan, spring 2005
Golden Crescent has a much longer history of opium production
than does Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle
emerged as a modern-day opium-producing entity only in the 1980s,
Golden Crescent did so in the 1950s. The Golden Triangle
began making an impact on the opium and morphine market in the 1980s
and has steadily increased its output since then in order to match the
increasing demand. During the invasion of
Afghanistan in 2001, a
retaliation to the
September 11th terrorist attacks , the Golden
Crescent’s opium production took a huge hit, producing almost 90%
less opium than in 2000.
At the peak of its opium production in 2007, the Golden Crescent
produced more than 8,000 of the world’s almost 9,000 total tons of
opium, a near monopoly . The
Golden Crescent also dominates the
cannabis resin market due to the high resin yields of the region (145
kg/ha), four times more than Morocco (36 kg/ha). The Golden Crescent
also caters to a much larger market, about 64% more than the Golden
Triangle. It produces and distributes over 2,500 tons of opiates to
Africa, Europe, the Americas and Central
Asia and supplies almost 9.5
million opiate users worldwide.
Despite worldwide efforts to capture and seize as much opium product
as possible, total opiate seizures only brought in 23.5% of the total
estimated product distributed worldwide. Of these seizures around 97%
of opium and morphine seizures are made in the Middle East and heroin
seizures are made mostly in the Middle East or Europe. In Afghanistan
only one percent of the heroin that is exported illegally is
intercepted and destroyed by the national governments. Although
Afghanistan is the major producer of opiates in the Golden Crescent,
most of the seizures are made in Iran, their neighbor to the west.
This is because traffickers are arrested while crossing the border
Iran so that they can distribute the product to
Europe and Africa where there is a high demand for opiates. In
Pakistan the majority of traffickers arrested are 38% Nigerians and
These traffickers, essential to the transportation of the drugs from
the source to end-user markets, make large profits because of how
risky the job is. A rough estimate of how many people are currently
involved in drug trafficking is above one million. The majority of
opium produced in
Afghanistan comes from the Kandahar and Helmand
provinces, Helmand being the major producer. Of the 5,300 tons of
opium produced in Afghanistan, 2,700 tons is transformed into heroin.
In 2008, almost half of the heroin produced was used in Iran. Even
Afghanistan is the leading producer, only 7% was used there.
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June
Although the Golden Triangle heroin dominates the Asian illegal drug
Golden Crescent is increasingly becoming a source of
illicit drugs trafficked into western China, particularly the nearby
Opium production in
* Golden Triangle
* ^ A B C D "Interpol: Drugs Sub-Directorate: Heroin".
2007. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
* ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-25.
* ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-30.
* ^ "UN:
Afghanistan is leading hashish producer". Fox News.
* ^ A B C D E "Drug Trafficking". United Nations Office on Drugs
and Crime. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
* ^ "
Afghanistan is Leading
Hashish Producer". Fox News. Retrieved
21 May 2012.