UNODC LAO PDR COUNTRY OFFICE
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.
Stories from the Lao PDR
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...