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

 UNODC Presents Equipment to OSPP

Vientiane, 11 December 2013 - Lao PDR continues to be under the threats of human trafficking due to its location in the center of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and its socio-economic vulnerability. The Government of Lao PDR has been committed to combat human trafficking through strengthening its criminal justice legislation and the capacity of front-line law enforcement and judicial officers.   Read more...

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Foreign Experts Workshop to National Expert Group on the Collection and Evaluation of Evidence

Vientiane, 11 December 2013 - The "Foreign Experts Consultation Meeting on the Collection and Evaluation of Evidence Law" was held on November 12 and November 13, 2013 at Don Chan Palace in Vientiane, Lao PDR.    More than 35 participants from the Office of Supreme People's Prosecutor (OSPP),   Read more...

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Officials seek to lower demand for illegal drugs

Vientiane, 27 September 2013 - Lao enforcement officers and rehabilitators of victims of drug addiction from 10 provinces met in Vientiane yesterday to seek ways to reduce the demand for drugs. Speaking at the meeting, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative to Laos, Mr Leik Boonwaat, said Laos is challenged by the rising use of amphetamine, methamphetamine and heroin, whereas 10 years ago opium was the only drug being used illegally.  Read more...

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Oudomxay mulls opening of organic vegetable market

Vientiane, 16 September 2013 - Oudomxay province will soon open a market dedicated to the sale of organically grown vegetables, similar to the one held twice weekly at That Luang in Vientiane. Speaking at a meeting on alternative development in Oudomxay on Thursday, an official from the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision, Mr Sithat Sisongkham, said at present organically farmed produce was sold in markets alongside vegetables on which chemicals had been used.  Read more...

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 Former opium growers take up vegetable farming

Vientiane, 13 September 2013 - A project encouraging former opium poppy farmers to instead grow organic vegetables in Oudomxay province is progressing well and preparing to expand.  Read more...

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US$18 million in illicit drugs go up in smoke

Vientiane, 07 July 2013 - Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong , United Nations representatives and international organisations gathered at the That Luang Esplanade in Vientiane yesterday morning to incinerate illicit drugs that have been intercepted in Laos.  Read more...

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Capacity Building Workshop on Human Trafficking in Thakhe District, Khamouan Province

Vientiane, 06 June 2013 - In recent years, the Government of Lao PDR has stepped up its efforts to combat human trafficking, an issue that has greatly affected the Southeast Asia region.  Read more...

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Over 55,000 people at risk of drug addiction

Vientiane, 12 Feb 2013 - Some 55,000 people in Laos are at risk of becoming drug addicts as the country is increasingly used as a drug transit route and opium poppy cultivation is on the rise.  Read more...

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Lao PDR is now on to further strengthen fight against corruption

Vientiane, 21 December 2012 - By commemorating the International Anti-Corruption Day, the Government of the Lao PDR expresses its firm determination to reinforce its anti-corruption efforts. Read more...

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30/10/2012 - Laos to clamp down on sexual exploitation of children

30/10/2012 - Applying lessons learnt from training to young victims of human trafficking in the Lao PDR

29/10/2012 - UNODC wins the UN Soccer Challenge Cup for the second successive year

25/10/2012 - Lao PDR coodinates responese to illicit drugs and transnational organized crime

All Stories

Lao PDR: Authorities Sensitized on HIV and Harm Reduction