Drug control has long been an issue in the Lao PDR. In 1998, the country ranked as the world third largest illicit opium producer (UNODC Opium Survey, 1998). At the time, the Lao PDR also had one of highest opium addiction rates in the world. However, and due to the Government's strong commitment to address the issue, from 1998 to 2005, opium cultivation was effectively reduced by 94 percent and opium addiction by 80 percent. In 2006, the Lao PDR declared its success in significantly reducing opium poppy cultivation.


Since the mid-90's however, transnational trafficking of Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS), Heroin and other illicit drugs significantly increased, and resulted in Laos becoming a transit point for drugs trafficked in the region. At the same time, the spillover effect of transnational drug trafficking resulted in the rise of cases of drug abuse, domestic crime, violence and other related problems.
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Stories from the Lao PDR


Mentorship Programme on Combating Wildlife Trafficking Laos

Vientiane (Lao PDR), 2 March 2015 - The United States along with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Environmental Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security of Lao PDR recognised the importance of World Wildlife Day by kicking off an intensive, four-week training seminar on combating wildlife trafficking.  The seminar will highlight the critical role that the environmental police play in investigating wildlife and forestry crimes.... [Read More]


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Opium production in the Golden Triangle continues at high levels, threatening regional integration

Bangkok (Thailand), 8 December 2014 - Opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar and Lao PDR rose to 63,800 hectares (ha) in 2014 compared to 61,200 ha in 2013, increasing for the eighth consecutive year and nearly triple the amount harvested in 2006, according to a new UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report released today. The UNODC report, Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014... [Read More]


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9 th High Level Illicit Drugs Sector Working Group/Mini-Dublin Group meeting

Vientiane, 10 November 2014  - The dramatic spread of illicit drug trafficking and abuse continues to be a cause for serious concern. The Lao PDR, like many other countries of the world, is confronting increasingly dangerous and devastating threats from illicit drugs. Read more...


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UNODC releases a new study on the response to wildlife and forest crimes in Lao PDR

Vientiane, 10 October 2014  - "Despite the visibly organized and transnational nature of crimes such as illegal timber trade and wildlife trafficking, the key offenders enjoy a high level of impunity also because of their links to corrupt officials," stated the Deputy Prosecutor General of Lao PDR during a national consultation on criminal justice responses to wildlife and forest crime held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on 23 September 2014.     Read more...


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From growing opium to a sustainable livelihood

Vientiane, 19 August 2014  - Mr. Po Vue is a 28 years old farmer that belongs to the Hmong ethnic group from Naseankham village situated in Xay District Oudoxmay Province in northern Laos. Due to the need to look after the subsistence of his family, he left school in fifth grade and supported his parents in growing opium since he was 10 years old.    Read more...


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All Stories

Lao PDR: Authorities Sensitized on HIV and Harm Reduction