Taliban opium ban: What the future holds

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Taliban opium ban: What the future holds

30 June 2023
Transform Drug Policy Foundation

New analysis from David Mansfield, the leading expert in the field, suggests that the ban on opium threatened last year by the Taliban has come to pass, and there is an estimated 80%+ reduction in Afghan opium production - which supplies some 95% of the European heroin market.

What are the implications of this opium ban for Afghanistan and the region; for global opium and heroin production, and for UK policy?

We outline three possible scenarios that could come out of recent developments in Afghanistan and put forward proposals for preparedness and risk mitigation.

  • Scenario 1: Opium ban is not sustained
  • Scenario 2: Opium ban is sustained, production is displaced to other regions
  • Scenario 3: Opium ban is sustained, displaced production does not meet demand, and synthetic opioids (and other drugs) fill the market void