Drugs and Death
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Making opium ballsThe raw opium is placed in large bowls to let the moisture evaporate.  The raw opium becomes thick and black, and is then formed into round balls.  The size and shape of the opium balls varies from country to country.

Kitchen labThe opium is transported to laboratories where it is purified into morphine.  Ten pounds of raw opium yields one pound of morphine.  The morphine is converted to heroin, which is several times stronger and more addictive than morphine.

The heroin is smuggled into the United States where it is diluted down to between 5% and 20% purity and sold on the street.

Five hundred dollars worth of raw opium is required to make a little less than one pound of heroin.  By the time it is sold on the street, the pound of heroin is worth about $200,000.


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