There are strict controls on narcotic prescription and administration in the United States. Nevertheless, addiction to narcotics, especially heroin, which has no legal use, continues to be a serious problem. There have been nationally and internationally based attempts to control the production of narcotics and to limit their export and import to medical use only. Large quantities are nonetheless grown in SW Asia (e.g., Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan), in SE Asia (the "Golden Triangle" region of Myanmar and Thailand; cultivation in Laos was largely eradicated in 2005), Lebanon, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala, and a large illicit traffic in these substances continues.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.