AFGHAN GOVERNMENT AND UNITED NATIONS LAUNCH
DETAILED REPORT OF THE FIRST NATIONAL SURVEY ON DRUG USE IN AFGHANISTAN
Kabul,3 September 2006: The first-ever national survey of drug use was carried in 2005 jointly by UNODC and the Ministry of Counter Narcotics. The summary report of the survey was released in November 2005. The detailed and comprehensive survey is officially released through this press conference today.
While the survey results cause UNODC concern , they will enable both the Government of Afghanistan and UNODC to take necessary measures to address the already deteriorating drug abuse problem in the country. The survey will enable UNODC and the Government of Afghanistan to develop realistic intervention strategies to address the problem.
The key findings suggest a total of 920,000 drug users in Afghanistan. This includes an estimated 150,000 opium users, 50,000 heroin users and 520,000 hashish users. Additionally, approximately 180,000 people consume non-prescribed pharmaceuticals, such as anxiolytics, painkillers and hypno-sedatives. Other drugs consumed include preparations made from cannabis and opium, volatile liquids such as petrol and glues, as well as alcohol. The majority of drug users (80%) are male, while women account for 13% of drug users; 7% of all drug users are children. Also alarming is the rate for injecting drug use: approximately 15 % of male heroin users inject the drug.
On a regional basis, the estimated level of drug use is much higher in the central and northern regions of Afghanistan than in other areas. The highest level of drug use was found in Kabul City, followed by provinces bordering Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The total number of opiate users (heroin and opium, total: 200,000) is equal to 1.4% of the Afghan adult population. This is within the range of addiction rates of other neighbouring countries: Iran (2.8%) and Pakistan (0.8%), Tajikistan (1%) and Uzbekistan (0.5%).
There is a higher rate of drug use among returning refugees than among other members of Afghan society.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Said Azam, Ministry of Counter Narcotics, Tel: (+93)-79-097759, < p>
Ms. Elisabeth Bayer, UNODC Kabul. Tel: (+93)-79-129286, firstname.lastname@example.org