A drugs expert from Merseyside has been headhunted to fight the opium scourge in Afghanistan.
Mike Ryan will spend a year in Afghanistan tackling drug problems
North West regional drugs strategy manager, Mike Ryan is being sponsored by the Foreign Office in his new role.
During his 12 months in Afghanistan, he will help to develop an anti-drugs strategy in the country which has been ravaged by drugs dependency problems.
Based in the UN compound in Kabul, Mr Ryan will be allowed special leave to visit his family at home in Wirral.
'Eye of the storm'
Mike, 52, has more than 20 years' experience in the drugs field, working for various bodies, including the Home Office, the non-statutory sector and health authorities in Merseyside.
He said: "Afghanistan really is the eye of the storm as far as drugs problems are concerned.
"Going there is an opportunity to bring some of our experience in managing the problem here, although I imagine it to be very different."
Mike will swap his office in Manchester and the home comforts of family life with wife Susan and their two children for simple quarters in Kabul.
Despite the potential difficulties ahead, he says his family is strongly supportive of his new role.