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Golden Triangle

  • By: Bradford W. Reyns
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The Golden Triangle is a region of southeast Asia that produces illicit opium, heroin, and methamphetamine for Asian and international drug markets. One of Asia's two primary opium-producing regions, the Golden Triangle is composed of mountainous areas spanning the countries of Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand. The boundaries of the Golden Triangle cover approximately 150,000 square miles, and stretch from western Myanmar, north to China's Yunnan province, east through Laos and Thailand, and back to southern Myanmar. It is so named for the approximate triangular shape that these countries appear to take where they intersect.

Although historically known for producing opium and heroin, the Golden Triangle is more recently known for its methamphetamine production. Its counterpart, the Golden Crescent, encompasses a crescent-shaped area extending through ...

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