UN findings say an opium market worth $65bn (£39bn) funds global terrorism, caters to 15 million addicts, and kills 100,000 people every year.
The UN says corruption, lawlessness and uncontrolled borders result in only 2% of Afghan opiates being seized locally.
The UN says more Russians die annually from Afghan drugs than Soviet soldiers were killed during its Afghan conflict.
Afghanistan produces 92% of the world’s opium, with the equivalent of 3,500 tonnes leaving the country each year.
Most of the opium that leaves Afghanistan makes its way through Pakistan, Central Asia and Iran, leaving a trail of addiction, criminality and death in its wake, according to the report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
It says more people die globally from Afghan opium than any other drug but just a tiny percentage of what is produced is seized on route.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UNODC, said Afghanistan’s opium production could create a “perfect storm” in the region.
“The Afghanistan/Pakistan border region has turned into the world’s largest free-trade zone in anything and everything that is illicit – drugs of course, but also weapons, bomb-making equipment, chemical precursors, drug money, even people and migrants,” he said.
“We have identified the global consequences of the Afghan opium trade.
“Some are devastating but expected; others seem surprising, yet they are very real.
He also had some difficult words for those nations currently involved in Afghanistan: “I urge the friends of Afghanistan to recognise that, to a large extent, these uncomfortable truths may be the result of benign neglect.”