Press release: "Opium production in Afghanistan soared to frightening record levels in 2007, concentrated mainly in the troubled south of the country, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on Monday. However, the number of opium-free provinces in the centre and north of Afghanistan more than doubled compared to 2006. UNODC's 2007 Annual Opium Survey showed the area under opium cultivation rose to 193,000 hectares from 165,000 in 2006. The total opium harvest will be 8,200 tonnes, up from 6,100 tonnes last year. The amount of Afghan land used for growing opium is now larger than the combined total under coca cultivation in Latin America - Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. No other country has produced narcotics on such a deadly scale since China in the 19th century."