Post-9-11 Opiate Drug-related Deaths and US Imperialism

By Gideon Polya
April 23, 2011

Drugs – tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs – kill about 8 million people each year, but Mainstream media, academics’ and politicians’ lying and corruption in the Western Murdochracies and Lobbyocracies ensures continuation of this carnage. Pro-Zionist and Zionist terror hysteria has blinded the West to the surprising reality that the anti-drug polices of the authoritarian Taliban are the best in the world and if applied to everyone would save over 1 billion lives this century.

According to the WHO (2009),

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, and is estimated to kill more than 5 million people each year worldwide. Most of these deaths are in the low- and middle-income countries. The gap in deaths between these and high-income countries is expected to widen further over the next several decades if we do nothing. If current trends persist, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide each year by the year 2030, with 80% of these premature deaths in low- and middle-income countries. By the end of this century, tobacco may kill a billion people or more unless urgent action is taken. [1]


The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year. 320,000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group. Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden; it is the leading risk factor in the Western Pacific and the Americas and the second largest in Europe. Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace.

[…] An intoxicated person can harm others or put them at risk of traffic accidents or violent behaviour, or negatively affect co-workers, relatives, friends or strangers. Thus, the impact of the harmful use of alcohol reaches deep into society. Harmful drinking is a major determinant for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as alcohol use disorders and epilepsy and other noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis of the liver and various cancers. The harmful use of alcohol is also associated with several infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is because alcohol consumption weakens the immune system and has a negative effect on patients’ adherence to antiretroviral treatment.

A significant proportion of the disease burden attributable to harmful drinking arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic accidents, violence, and suicides. Fatal injuries attributable to alcohol consumption tend to occur in relatively younger age groups. [2]

In 2010 the WHO produced an Atlas on substance abuse. The WHO has summarized the key findings of the Atlas as follows:

Many more people suffer from alcohol use disorders compared to [other] drug use disorders, and both types are more common in men than women. Alcohol causes the highest demand for treatment of substance use disorders in most WHO regions bar the Region of the Americas, where treatment demand is mainly for cocaine use disorders. Alcohol kills every year 35 people and illicit drugs kill four people per every 100,000 people. Two-thirds of countries have a government unit or official responsible for treating substance use disorders, and under 50% have a specific budget for treating such disorders. In Africa, out-of-pocket payments are the main funding method for treating alcohol and drug use disorders. Africa is also the only WHO region with the fewest countries with substance abuse policies. [3]

The above WHO data indicate that, as of 2010 and a world population of about 7.0 billion, about 7.8 million people die from drugs each year, the breakdown being 5 million (tobacco), 2.5 million (alcohol) and 280,000 (0.3 million) (illicit drugs). This can be compared with the following 2000 estimate from the Australian National Drug Research Centre: “The research into the global burden of disease attributable to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs found that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (3 percent of all drug-related deaths).” [4]

It is useful to mention that 1.8% of drug-related deaths are due to the addictive narcotic opium, and mostly due to its synthetic derivative heroin (diacetyl-morphine). [5]

The world opium trade was dominated by the UK from the late 18th century onwards. Britain sold opium from Bengal to the Chinese in return for tea and silver. Ruthless British exploitation of Indians, including enforced food to opium production, was associated with a succession of disastrous famines, commencing with the 1769-1770 Great Bengal Famine, recurring over 2 centuries and culminating in the 1943-1945 Bengal Famine in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death by the British. [6]

British over-ruling Imperial Chinese attempts to ban opium led to the mid-19th century Opium Wars resulting in the acquisition of Hong Kong and the flooding of China with opium. The 19th century Tai Ping Rebellion in China was associated with 20-100 million deaths. It took India and China several centuries to recover economically to be major players again in today’s world economy.

World use of opium was increasingly constrained after the formation of the International Opium Commission in 1909 and subsequent successive criminalization of opium and heroin sale in countries around the world. Conflict in China ensured major use of opium until victory of the Communists over the Nationalists in 1949 and rigorous suppression of opium production and sale in China. However the US-backed Chinese Nationalists then commenced opium production in Burma (Myanmar). The Vietnam War resulted in major US-backed opium production in the Golden Triangle of South East Asia (Burma, Thailand and Indo-China) with as many as 20% of US soldiers becoming addicted and thence transporting a heroin drug culture to metropolitan USA. [7]

Afghan opium production kicked off with the US-backed overthrow of the secular Afghan Government in 1978 and grew steadily with the consequent civil war, Russian invasion and US-backed religious-based resistance. Afghan opium production increased further after the departure of the Russians. However in 2000, several years after they captured Kabul, the Taliban banned opium production, slashing Afghan opium production from about 76% of word production in 2000 to 6% in 2001. The US used the 9-11 atrocity (very likely executed by the US government itself) as an excuse to invade Afghanistan (although no Afghans were involved in the 9-11 atrocity according to the “official version” of 9-11). [8]

Within a year of the US Alliance invasion the Afghan opium production had soared from 6% of world production (2001) to 74% (2002), 93% (2006), 95% (2007) and 94% (2008) (with most of the remainder coming from Myanmar). [9]

Assuming that about 50% of an average of 250,000 deaths per year from illicit drugs involve opiates and that about 90% of heroin derives from US-occupied Afghanistan, one can estimate that 0.9 x 125,000 deaths per year x 8.5 years = 0.96 million (about 1 million) people have died since 2001 as a consequence of the US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry.

What is the breakdown of the circa 1 million US Alliance-complicit, post-2001, opiate drug-related deaths around the world?

In 2005 in the US, of 18,347 deaths due to narcotics and psychodysleptics, 12, 262 were due to opiates, specifically heroin (2,011), other opioids (5,789) or methadone (4,462). [10] Given the over 90% contribution of the US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed opium industry to world illicit heroin production, and the interconnectedness and effective indistinguishability of “Afghan-derived heroin” from the “pool” of other abusively-used opiates, one can accordingly crudely estimate 0.9 x 12,262 persons/year x 8.5 years = 93,804 US opiate drug-related deaths (0.9 x 2,011 deaths/year x 8.5 years = 15, 384 specifically heroin-related deaths) connected with the aftermath of the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

In 2000 there were about 17,000 US deaths from the direct or indirect consequences of illicit drug use. [11] According to the US CDC: “In 2006, a total of 38,396 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States […] This category includes not only deaths from dependent and nondependent use of legal or illegal drugs, but also poisoning from medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother’s drug use”. [12] These 38,396 drug deaths in 2006 can be compared with 19,128 (1999), 19,720 (2000), 21,705 (2001), 26,040 (2002), 28,723 (2003), 30,711 (2004), and 33,541 (2005). Of 33,541 drug-related deaths in 2005 one could conservatively assume from EU data [13] that about 0.5 x 33, 541 = 16,770 were opiate-related (as compared to the estimate above of 12, 262), this giving an estimate of 0.9 x 8.5 years x 16,770 per year = 128, 291 opiate drug-related deaths linked to the US invasion of Afghanistan.. Note the huge increase in drug-related deaths (mainly from opiates) since 2001.

We could accordingly conclude that 94,000-128,000 Americans have died opiate drug-related deaths since 2001 linked to the US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry.

There were 3,161 drug-related deaths in the UK in 2005. [14] Because of multiple drug use, opioids are present in most cases of ‘acute drug-related deaths’, due to illegal substances identified and reported in the EU (range 46-100%; 64% in the UK [15]). We could then conservatively estimate 0.64 x 3,161 = 2,023 annual opiate-related deaths in the UK and accordingly 0.9 x 8.5 years x 2,023 deaths/year = 15, 476 post-2001 UK opiate-related deaths linked to the US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry.

It can be estimated that there are about 426 opiate-related deaths annually in Australia [16], of which about 90% (383) are due to the US-responsible Occupied Afghan contribution to the world heroin market i.e. 383 x 8.5 years = 3,256 opiate-related deaths since the invasion of Afghanistan linked to the US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry. Thus more Australians have died in US Alliance-linked opiate drug-related deaths since 9-11 than the number of people who died on 9-11. It should be noted that the Australian Government has fatuously obfuscated this in a detailed communication to me by saying that technically most of Australia’s heroin actually comes from places other than Afghanistan, ignoring the reality that over 90% of heroin in the world ultimately derives from Afghan opium.

It should be noted that very substantial additional deaths from opiate drug use include those from AIDS/HIV and hepatitis via dirty syringes, from deprivation and from crime-related violence. Thus the prevalence of HIV among people who inject drugs ranges from about 11% (Western Europe) to 27% (Eastern Europe), although it ranges from only about 1-3% (Pacific Islands, Australasia and Middle East and North Africa). [17]

The above analysis makes a mockery of the endlessly repeated rationale for the US Alliance invasion of Afghanistan (and Iraq) involving the 3,000 Americans murdered on 9-11. If the Bush and Obama US Governments were genuinely concerned about American lives they would have accepted the Taliban Government offer in 2001 to send Osama bin Laden to a third country for assessment of his alleged culpability. In accepting such sensible, non-violent extradition the US would have saved 4,759 US Coalition lives (4,441 US lives) in Iraq, 2,388 US Coalition lives in Afghanistan (1,521 US lives) [18] – and the circa 100,000 American lives lost since 2001 linked to the US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry. Furthermore, there is now compelling evidence from science, military and intelligence experts that the US was responsible for 9-11, and hence if the Bush Administration had been genuinely concerned about American lives the 9/11 atrocity would not have happened in the first place. [19]

Just as the Western Murdochracies ignore the huge death toll due to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry, so they also ignore those involved in interdiction of Afghan opium. Iran has a very bad press in the pro-Zionist West but leads the world in interdiction of US-backed Afghan opiates (followed by Pakistan and China, which also have a bad press in the West). More than 3,700 Iranian security personnel have been killed fighting drug smugglers since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution and 2-4 million Iranians (about 5% of the population) are now heroin addicts with a mounting attendant HIV/AIDS problem that is paradoxical and exceptional in this sexually conservative and religiously devout country. [20]

The Mainstream politicians, academics and media in the Western Murdochracies ignore the huge death toll from US-backed Afghan opiates that totals about 0.94 x 140,000 = 131,600 (about 130,000). However the Western Mainstream also ignores the horrendous death toll associated with the US Alliance War on Terror. Violent deaths and avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation now total 4.5 million (Iraq, 1990-2011) and 5.0 million (Afghanistan, 2001-2011) and under-5 infant deaths total 2.0 million (Iraq, 1990-2011) and 2.7 million (Afghanistan, 2001-2011). [21]

Fundamental to human and indeed to many other primates is respect for children. “Thou shalt not kill children” is so fundamental and self-evident to humans that as far as I know this injunction has not been specifically written down in the religious laws of the Abrahamic religions. Yet based on UN data, the quantitative answer today to the question posed by the anti-war chant “Hey, hey, USA, how many kids have you killed today?” is 1,000. [22]

From my perspective as an agnostic, humanitarian, Humanist scientist, the fundamentalist, misogynist, authoritarian and intolerant Afghan Taliban are not my cup of tea. However credit must be given where credit is due. Under the Taliban alcohol was banned, smoking was banned for government employees (from 1997 onwards) and opium production was banned by the Taliban in 2000 resulting in a 94% reduction of Afghan opium production within about a year. Adoption of Taliban-style anti-drug policies of banning smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs would have the eventual effect of saving about 8 million lives annually (assuming the smoking ban was applied to everyone, not just to public servants).

In conclusion, Mainstream media, and academics’ and politicians’ lying in the Western Murdochracies means that most Westerners are unaware that US Alliance pro-drug policies (possibly driven by a strategic desire to destabilize Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Central Asia) are causing about 130,000 opiate drug-related deaths annually and that the much-abused Taliban’s anti-drug policies are the best in the world and if applied to everybody would potentially save over 1 billion lives this century.


1. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2009.

2. WHO, ‘Alcohol’, Fact Sheet no. 349, February 2011.

3. WHO, ‘Atlas 2010: first global report on substance use disorders launched’, 14 December 2011.

4. Australian National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Western Australia, ‘Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs responsible for seven million preventable deaths worldwide’, 25 February 2003.

5. Gideon Polya, Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds: A Pharmacological Reference Guide to Sites of Action and Physiological Effects (London & New York: Taylor & Francis, CFC Press, 2003).

6. Gideon Polya, Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History: Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability (Melbourne: G.M. Polya, 1998).

7. Wikipedia, ‘Opium’.

8. UN ODC, World Drug Report 2007;
UN ODC, World Drug Report 2009.

9. World Drug Report 2007; World Drug Report 2009.

10. NCHS Health E-stats, ‘Increases in poisoning and methadone-related deaths: United States,1999-2005’.

11. ‘Annual causes of death in the United States’.

12. Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B., ‘Deaths: Final data for 2006’, National vital statistics reports Vol. 57 No. 14 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009), 11.


14. UK ONS statistics; European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, EMCDDA.


16. NSW Health, ‘Deaths from opiates, psychostimulants and benzodiazepines’.

17. Opium/heroin market, UN ODC World Drug Report 2009.


19. ‘Experts: US did 9-11’.

20. Gideon Polya, ‘Obama “officially” stops eradication of Afghan opium crops & is now World #1 opium, heroin & drug pusher’, Bellaciao, 29 June 2009.
Gideon Polya, ‘Obama as World’s #1 terrorist, #1 war criminal, #1 child killer, #1 Drug Pusher & #1 Drug Lord’, Bellaciao, 28 September 2009.

21. ‘Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide’.
‘Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide’.
‘Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide’.

22. Gideon Polya, ‘Hey, hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today? Answer: 1,000’, Bellaciao, 1 May 2009.

Dr Gideon Polya currently teaches science students at a major Australian university. He has published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. He has also recently published Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality since 1950.