These are facts that I found astonishing and really show how big this trade was. Its also interesting to read about how the UN is cracking down and all of their various tactics.
1) This trade generated up to 90% of the heroin used on the European and 70% of all opium sold worldwide as of 1995.
2) The trade has fallen 94% in Laos as of 1998 because of efforts from both the UN and China
3) Contrary to beliefs, many of the farmers who grew the opium are upset with the government as they have no sort of profits. A large amount of farmers are struggling to switch from opium to cash crops.
4) An estimated 100,000 opium addicts in just Laos alone, but this number is decreasing at the price for opium was sky rocketed due to the rarity and lack of production.
5) Khun Sa, the recent drug lord who died, was connected to 45% of all of the worlds drugs in the 1980s.