Environment / Environnement

Drug Production and Trade

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2003 / Encyclopedia of World Environmental History.

Since the first drugs – psychoactive substances that alter states of consciousness or increase metabolic performance – were found in the plant world, humans have interacted with plants from which drugs are derived in countless relationships between plants and society and between nature and culture.

Opium. Uncovering the politics of the poppy

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2010 /Harvard University Press.

The book sets out to expose the politics of opium. In particular it explores the world’s two major regions for illicit production of opium and heroin – the Golden Triangle of Burma, Laos and Thailand and the Golden Crescent of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. These remote mountainous regions of Southeast and Southwest Asia produce more than 90 per cent of the world’s illicit opium. The book reveals how, when and why illicit opium production emerged and what sustains it. The text exposes the real drivers of the modern day trade in opium and shows why a century of international effort, and forty years of a US-led war on drugs, have failed to eradicate it.