Photos: High up in Laos’ mountains, opium and meth run rampant
Wedged between five countries, Laos has for decades played a starring role in the "Golden Triangle" drug trade. Its opium became a treasured export in the 1960s and 70s as heroin hit the streets of America and drug money became entwined in the US's anti-communist fight. Opium production in the region has since seen a steady rise over the years with 14,000 acres of land estimated to be under cultivation in 2015. While United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is fighting the trade with coffee plantations as an alternative cash crop, Laos’ also battles methamphetamine — a trade run by global drug lords.