Certainly, a similar situation exists in Afghanistan. Although, as Shaun Baker--a professor at the US Naval Academy points out--it's made all the more interesting in the hands of the Taliban. Although the Taliban banned opium use when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until shortly after 9/11, they have since reversed course and encouraged (or in some cases, coerced) farmers to grow poppies. The Taliban have certainly shown that they're willing to sacrifice a number of principles--such as their ban on mind-altering substances (opium and alcohol)--in the sake of, well, survival. It's a great information ops point for certain, but we still have to deal with the obvious economic impacts of banning opium production and replacing it with something that's not only profitable, but also actually grows in Afghanistan. That's where Dr. Baker points towards saffron ("Mellow Yellow" as he calls it), as a potential alternative to opium. Worth a read.