UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
Problem of Drug Use In Pakistan: Results from Year 2006 National Assessment
Presenter: Dr. Nadeem Ur-Rehman, Programme Coordinator, UNODC, Pakistan
Dr. Nadeem Ur-Rehman
Nadeem, a medical doctor with a diploma in psychiatry has been a UNODC staff member since 1991 and has over ten years experience developing policy and strategies related to HIV prevention among injecting drug users and in prisons at UN and governmental level. He is Chair of the National Task Force for Injecting Drug Use in Pakistan. Nadeem is also a published author as well as a Member of the Pakistan Medical Association.
Updated information on the extent, pattern and trends of problem drug use, including injecting drug use
Recommendations on key intervention strategies
The assessment was conducted in 23 districts. 4,000 problem drug users and 1,150 Key informants were interviewed. Snowball sampling methodology was utilised. Two multipliers/ benchmarks were used, opioid users in treatment/total number drug users treated and drug users arrest/ arrests for drug related charges in each district.
The prevalence of opioid use in Pakistan is estimated at around 0.7 (95% CI 0.4 - 1) percent of the adult population (628,000). Out of these around 77 percent are estimated to be heroin users (484,000). Prevalence of injecting drug use is estimated around 0.14 percent of the adult population(125,000) Eight percent having HIV, 18 percent Tuberculosis and 11 percent HCV. Many drug users reported having unprotected sex with multiple sex partners in the past six months.
Drug abuse situation in Pakistan is changing. Opioid users are mostly poly drug users; many are injecting, and have psychiatric and other co-morbidities such as Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. There is an increasing population of problem drug users who are injecting drugs - a population that has doubled in the last 5 years. There is an increasing use of psychotropic substances - licit opiates, tranquilisers and sedatives such as benzodiazepines. Improve the scope, coverage and delivery of outreach interventions for prevention of HIV risk behaviours Introduction of oral substitution maintenance programme. Control of psychotropic substances specially through pharmacies. Focused research should be undertaken.