Dur­ing 2000-1 in Afgh­anistan, the Taliban achieved a long­time goal of na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al drug policy agen­cies: a large, sud­den, and unanti­cip­ated re­duc­tion in world opi­um pro­duc­tion. This cut­back provides an un­pre­ced­en­ted op­por­tun­ity to study the dy­nam­ics of the world opi­ate mar­ket and ask wheth­er fur­ther in­ter­ven­tions could ef­fect­ively re­duce the flows of drugs. Based on an ex­ten­ded, multi-na­tion­al study, the au­thors con­struct a new mod­el for the traf­fick­ing of drugs and rev­en­ues and of­fer the first ac­count of the world mar­ket in heroin and oth­er il­li­cit opi­ates dur­ing and after the 2001 ban. The au­thors' broad­er find­ings demon­strate how ro­bust pro­duc­tion, traf­fick­ing, and con­sump­tion com­bine to make suc­cess­ful long-term in­ter­ven­tions on the sup­ply-side rare ex­ceed­ingly dif­fi­cult, though spe­cif­ic policies can im­pact the or­gan­iz­a­tion and be­ha­vi­or of mar­kets. For re­duc­tions in both pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion, where the cul­tiv­a­tion of opi­um is en­trenched in the nor­mal life and le­git­im­ate eco­nomy of mil­lions of people, in­ter­na­tion­al agen­cies and for­eign gov­ern­ments must provide ad­equate and long-term sup­port to foster both al­tern­at­ive de­vel­op­ment policies and law en­force­ment pro­grams.