A new report by the Palaung Women's Organization (PWO) details how increased opium production and addiction is devastating Palaung communities in northern Shan State, exposing the failure of drug eradication programs under the military regime in Burma.
“Opium eradication in Burma will only be possible under a democratic government that cares about the welfare of its citizens. It is not possible under a regime that is benefiting from the drug trade,” said Lway Cherry one of the authors of the report
The report, Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma, based on interviews with eighty-eight wives and mothers of drug addicts, shows how women in Palaung areas have become increasingly vulnerable due to the rising addiction rates. Already living in dire poverty, with little access to education or health care, wives of addicts must struggle single-handedly to support as many as ten children.