Cocaine production in Colombia has touched an all-time high, according to the 2017 World Drug Report (WDR), published recently by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Cocaine production in 2016 was the highest in Colombia than in any of the previous years. Cocaine trade has surged in Colombia lately in spite of the United States providing billions of dollars to curb the drug trade in this South American country.
In 2015, coca cultivation in Columbia spanned across 96,000 hectares, whereas in 2016, it surged by 52 percent, spanning across 146,000 hectares. An estimated 866 metric tons of cocaine was produced in 2016, an increase of 34 percent from the previous year.
In a bid to counter the narcotics efforts in Colombia, the U.S. has spent over $10 billion in the past 17 years. However, the U.N. report denoted that the outcome of such an effort has been quite disappointing. “We cannot allow drug trafficking to coexist with peace and reconciliation,” declared Colombia’s chief prosecutor Néstor Humberto Martinez on March 2017, according to the Associated Press.
Cocaine production in Colombia worsening global drug scenario
According to the WDR, the upsurge in cocaine production in Colombia is only worsening the scourge of addiction in other parts of the world, including the U.S. and the Europe. “Following a long-term decline, coca bush cultivation increased by 30 percent during 2013-2015, mainly as a result of increased cultivation in Colombia,” the report said. “Cocaine use appears to be increasing in the two largest markets, North America and Europe.”
Continuous US support not yielding result
In a press conference held jointly by President Donald Trump and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in May 2017, Trump had urged Santos to step up measures to curb the inordinate cocaine production in the country.
While showing concern over the increasing cocaine production in the country, Trump had said, “Recently, we have seen an alarmed — and I mean really a very highly alarmed and alarming trend.” He had hoped that the Colombia President would address this issue with utmost urgency and thwart the trend of producing the highest amount of cocaine in Columbia.
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that increases the level of dopamine (dopamine controls the pleasure and movement) in the brain. Dopamine is released in brain circuits in response to potential rewards, e.g. the smell of good food. Then, it is recycled back into the cell that released it, thereby shutting off the signal between nerve cells. However, cocaine prohibits dopamine from recycling, causing an enormous amount to build up between nerve cells. This gush of dopamine eventually disrupts normal brain communication and causes the “high.”
Dealing with addiction
The only solution to addiction is timely treatment. Always approach a rehab whenever a loved one is hooked on a substance. One should not shy away from treatment because any delay can worsen the condition.
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