Poppy Cultivation and Addiction in Lao (UNODC 2008 figures)


Mar 10, 2006
I find interesting to get some background knowledge between bike trips. I took a trip to the Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand in downtown Bangkok yesterday where United Nations Office on Drugs and crime (UNODC) was presenting the latest available figures about opium poppy cultivation in South East Asia.

Below is a selection of figures about Lao PDR.


Where they are:

How it looks like from the sky:


Nonetheless the number of addicts is still significant:

Eradication achievement and a remaining sizeable number of addicts explain why farm gate opium prices are higher in Lao PDR(1600ha cultivated in 2008) than in Myanmar(28500ha cultivated in 2008):

Opium prices are rising throughout the region and with the impact of global economic crisis (maze prices have been almost divided by 2 lately) poppy fields area may raise again.

Another interesting fact was raised by the speakers (from Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Suppression and the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board)
Apparently heroin produced in Myanmar travels across Lao to reach China and Vietnam. Vietnam counts 160 000 heroin addicts.
In Lao injecting heroin use is mostly located in borders areas. Officials hint that this is part of trafficking gangs strategy. They get people leaving near the borders addicted. Then they can easily use them to carry the stuff across borders.

I don't want to bore people with too much figures. For those interested by detailed information about Thailand and Myanmar are available here:
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/crop-moni ... index.html