"Total global opium production jumped by 65 per cent from 2016 to 2017, to 10,500 tons, easily the highest estimate recorded by UNODC since it started estimating global opium production at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
"A marked increase in opium poppy cultivation and a gradual increase in opium poppy yields in Afghanistan resulted in opium production in the country reaching 9,000 tons in 2017, an increase of 87 per cent from the previous year. Among the drivers of that increase were political instability, lack of government control and reduced economic opportunities for rural communities, which may have left the rural population vulnerable to the influence of groups involved in the drug trade.
"The surge in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan meant that the total area under opium poppy cultivation worldwide increased by 37 per cent from 2016 to 2017, to almost 420,000 ha. More than 75 per cent of that area is in Afghanistan.
"Overall seizures of opiates rose by almost 50 per cent from 2015 to 2016. The quantity of heroin seized globally reached a record high of 91 tons i 2016. Most opiates were seized near the manufacturing hubs in Afghanistan."