First Advisor

McGrath, Jack

Second Advisor

Lindley, Don


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

MS Criminology


School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

47 pages


The heroin trade is a vital part of the Afghan economy. The heroin trade in Afghanistan has represented 40% to 50% of the country's entire gross domestic product for the past 30 years. The aim of this study was to examine the heroin trade as a circular circuit. Disrupt or break the circuit and the heroin trade comes to a halt. A disruption in the drug trade is also a disruption for the insurgency since the majority of the insurgency's funding is generated by the heroin trade. Historically, there have been times when neighboring borders were closed, poppy crops failed, or eradication efforts were stepped up. These all caused disruptions in the heroin trade and slowed the flow of heroin leaving Afghanistan and the flow of money going back into the country. By studying the heroin trade from this circular perspective, law enforcement will be able to initiate ways to step up anti-narcotic efforts on multiple fronts. This will stem the flow of heroin leaving Afghanistan and the money coming back in, with an end goal of ending the Afghan heroin trade overalL Previous studies have focused on only one aspect of the Afghan heroin trade. Using a multi-pronged approach offers the most options for law enforcement to launch anti-narcotic efforts against the drug lords and traffickers.

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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