After a day long interview with a poppy farmer in southern Afghanistan, the investigative reporter was handed four poppy pods from the farmer as a 'gift'; when he handed the pods to the reporter, the farmer said: "This is a gift of love from me; a kiss of death for you."
Poppy pods procured from Kandahar City. They were lanced six times each, indicating a slightly above average extraction of raw opium. Photo by Matt Dupee.
Acetic Anhydride: Chemical Precursor in the Production of Heroin
In 1874, Charles Romley Alder Wright was an English chemistry and physics researcher at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London and was the first person to synthesize heroin from morphine. Over the intervening years since 1874, the production of acetic anhydride as a chemical precursor, has also simultaneously increased to meet the demands of the production of heroin estimated in Afghanistan alone in 2006 to be at five-hundred and eighty-two metric tons. Heroin production increased sharply following the defeat of the Taliban, from 2001 (seven metric tons) to 2006 (five-hundred and eighty-two metric tons in Afghanistan out of a worldwide total estimated production of six-hundred and thirty-two metric tons).