Social events and narcotic addiction: The influence of war and law on opium use in Laos

Joseph Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

War in Laos caused removal of opium farmers from their mountain poppy growing areas and contributed to difficulties in transport of opium from nearby areas. This has led to an increased cost and low availability of opium, which in turn has caused addicts (1) to reduce their narcotic dosage, and (2) to reduce their smoking of opium in favor of the less satisfying but more economic oral route of administration. Increased cost/low availability of opium, together with unemployment from refugee movements, produced economic pressure on families with addicted members and resulted in widespread theft. This in turn led to anti-opium laws, which had the effect of favoring heroin addiction. Heroin addiction further exacerbated the addict's problems since heroin production costs considerably more than the production of smoking opium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978

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