Opium: Personal and social consequences
Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 2:28 pm
Opium and its derivatives are addictive substances. In the developing countries where poppies are cultivated and opium is produced, peasants make more producing opium than they could make cultivating legitimate crops. The trade-offs they face include the personal consequences of addiction, the ethnic tensions fueled by the drug trade, the empowerment of drug lords, and corrupt politics, among others.
Poppy cultivation and opium processing also have consequences for the environment. Waste from morphine extraction can cause environmental damage when dumped by processors. In addition to water pollution from this chemical dumping, other environmental concerns include the deforestation that may occur when clearing land for poppy cultivation, soil erosion, and dangers to wildlife in the area where these chemicals are dumped.