The world's top opium producer is struggling to contain its drug problem. The flow of opiates from Afghanistan to Western markets is also affecting countries along the drug-trafficking routes. The trail leaves behind increased crime, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. This special feature takes a closer look at the situation.

An opium farmer in north-east Afghanistan is thankful for the harvest. In 2006, cultivation in his province increased by 77 per cent.

Afghan soldiers prepare to walk for five days to the border with Tajikistan, where they will participate in counter-narcotics operations. The border between these countries is roughly 1,200 kilometers long.

Two addicts get ready to inject heroin. Most of the 10 million heroin abusers worldwide live in Asia, primarily in the countries around Afghanistan and Myanmar.

A patient lies in bed in the ward reserved for drug addicts at a psychiatric hospital in Kabul. About 200,000 people in the country abuse opiates.

An Afghan poppy farmer blows opium smoke into his hungry child's face to pacify him.