Over twenty five years ago, Russian troops entered Afghanistan as part of an effort to install a communist government. During the ensuing fight with Afghan militants, thousands of Russian soldiers began to use the ample amounts of heroin which were readily available to anyone with the cash to pay. By the time Russia left the nation, thousands of its troops had become hooked on Afghan drugs and they soon sent the message to millions of Russians. Today, the flood of heroin coming out of Afghanistan is overwhelming the ability of Russian authorities to contain the rapid growth in heroin addiction in their nation. According to Victor Ivanov, Chief of the Federal Drug Control Service, “In recent years, Russian has not just become massively hooked on Afghan opiates, it has become the world’s absolute leader in the opiate trade and the number one heroin consumer.”
The fruits of war linger on years after its completion as the American people know from the disastrous Vietnam war which left thousands of Americans soldiers hooked on the drug habit they picked up in Vietnam. A few years ago, some British diplomats suggested purchasing the entire Afghanistan opium crop which would prevent it being used to finance the Taliban. Perhaps, if the crop was purchased and then a legal program instituted to control drug addiction, Russia might not be hooked on illegal drugs.