Press Release


Drug Use in Pakistan 2013 Survey reveals high levels of drug use and dependency



22 May 2014 - Islamabad - The Drug Use in Pakistan 2013 Survey Report launched today in Lahore reveals how Pakistan's population aged 15 to 64 suffer from the devastating consequences of substance abuse. The Report estimates that 6 per cent - or 6.7 million adults in Pakistan - used drugs in the last 12 months. Although 4.25 million individuals are thought to be drug dependent, treatment and specialist interventions are in short supply, available to less than 30,000 drug users a year. Moreover, not all structured treatment is free of charge. In a country where almost a quarter of the population is estimated to be living on less than US$ 1.25 a day, the barriers preventing access to structured treatment are exceptionally high. 

Mr. Khawaja Salman Rafique, Advisor to Chief Minister for Health, while inaugurating the launch of drug use survey 2013   said that the Ministry of Health, Punjab is collaborating with UNODC for prevention of HIV among people who inject drugs and will continue its support to UNODC in its efforts for drug use prevention in the province. Mr. Rafique appreciated the UNODC efforts for drug use prevention. 

Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative UNODC, stated that National Drug Use Survey 2013 is for the first time conducted in Pakistan at provincial levels and it provides a comprehensive data on drug use and its implications on HIV transmission. The information provided in the report will form the baseline for future planning and designing of drug prevention and treatment programmes in Pakistan.

Due to its large share of the population, Punjab has the highest number of people who use and inject drugs with 2.9 million people using illicit substances in the past year and approximately 260,000 people who currently inject drugs. Cannabis was found to be the most commonly used drug in Punjab (3.1%). Vulnerability to HIV and other blood-borne diseases through injecting drug use is also considerable due to injecting drugs.

The  Drug Use in Pakistan Survey Report is the result of a collaborative research effort between the Narcotics Control Division, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, and UNODC. It aims to provide baseline information on the prevalence and patterns of drug use among the population aged 15 to 64 in order to inform Government, civil society and private-sector organizations in designing and implementing effective prevention, treatment and care services across the country.

For further information kindly contact Rizwana Asad, Communications Officer via 0301-8564255 and/or