Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Afghanistan's opium crop booming despite efforts to stem trade

by Take Two

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Used syringes are discarded at a needle exchange clinic. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In Afghanistan, the vote counting continues from this weekend's elections. Officials say turn out was high on Saturday despite threats from the Taliban to disrupt the elections and heavy security at polling stations.

Regardless of the outcome, one issue that will loom large in the coming years is the country's booming opium trade. According to the UN, overall opium production in the country rose by 50 percent in 2013 from the previous year and more than half of the country's 34 provinces are opium growers.

Some of that makes it to the U.S., fueling a heroin epidemic that is claiming lives in the country's cities and towns. For more, we're joined by Fariba Nawa, a journalist who has reported extensively in Afghanistan and is the author of the book Opium Nation.

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