US Troops High on Afghan Heroin

Boredom, frustration drive soldiers to cheap, ubiquitous drug

By Heather McPherson,  Newser User

Posted Aug 7, 2007 11:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bored US soldiers have easy access to heroin in poppy-rich Afghanistan, and few fear punishment if they're caught using it, Salon reports. Filmmaker Shaun McCanna says he was able to score heroin easily on over a dozen occasions during his two trips to the war-torn country.

Bazaar shops are lined with bulletproof vests, helmets, and knives—military goods that are evidence of trades from soldiers seeking items like liquor, Viagra, and the omnipresent opiate. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is often blamed for heroin’s heavy use among soldiers, but many addicts said in-country boredom and frustration with military operations triggered their drug use.

An Afghan National Army soldier is seen destroying the opium poppies in a field, during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan,  Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan is the top producer of heroin in the world. (AP Photo/Rahamt Gul)
An Afghan National Army soldier is seen destroying the opium poppies in a field, during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan...   (Associated Press)
An Afghan drug addict, Abdul Ahad, smokes heroin in Lashkargah, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, June 19, 2007.  Drugs and violence remain a huge problem in the war ravaged country. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)
An Afghan drug addict, Abdul Ahad, smokes heroin in Lashkargah, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, June 19, 2007. Drugs and violence remain a huge problem in the war ravaged country. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)   (Associated Press)
An Afghan drug addict, Abdul Ahad, smokes heroin in Lashkargah, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, June 19, 2007.  Drugs and violence remain major problems in the war ravaged country. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)
An Afghan drug addict, Abdul Ahad, smokes heroin in Lashkargah, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, June 19, 2007. Drugs and violence remain major problems in the war ravaged country. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)   (Associated Press)
An Afghan elderly man is seen destroying the opium poppies on the field during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan is the top producer of heroin in the world. (AP Photo/Rahamt Gul)
An Afghan elderly man is seen destroying the opium poppies on the field during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan is...   (Associated Press)
An Afghan police officer is seen destroying the opium poppies on the field during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan is the top producer of heroin in the world. (AP Photo/Rahamt Gul)
An Afghan police officer is seen destroying the opium poppies on the field during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan...   (Associated Press)
An Afghan villager emplyed as an opium poppy destroyer, right, is seen during a poppy eradication campaign in the Rhodat district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, April 11, 2007. Afghanistan is the top producer of heroin in the world. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
An Afghan villager emplyed as an opium poppy destroyer, right, is seen during a poppy eradication campaign in the Rhodat district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, April 11,...   (Associated Press)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment