AFGHANISTAN DRUG REPORT 2015: PRESS RELEASE

Kabul, 9 December 2015: " Successes and significant challenges in countering narcotics"

The Ministry of Counter Narcotics is pleased to announce the publication of the Afghanistan Drug Report (ADR) 2015. The report outlines substantial reductions in opium cultivation and production alongside incremental increases in total seizures as detailing drug use rates and treatment capacity in Afghanistan. It also maps alternative livelihood/development interventions and explores alternative development models in other countries. The report was completed with technical support from UNODC.

Key finding of the Report include the following:

Poppy cultivation decreased by 19% from an estimate of 209,000 ha in 2014 to 183,000 ha in 2015 - this is the first year that the area under opium cultivation has decreased since 2009. Eradication increased by 29% whilst total opium production decreased by 48% in the last year to 3300 tonnes.

 Estimates show between 1.9 million to 2.4 million adult drug users which is equivalent to 12.6% of the adult population - more than double the global drug use rate of 5.2%. There are only 123 treatment centers in the country which is sufficient for treating 10.7% of the opium and heroin users.

 There was a welcomed increase in total drugs seized from 119,960 Kg in 2013/14 to 128,079 Kg in 2014/15. However, it is worth noting that this increase was mostly due to a 81% increase in hashish seizures whilst seizures of heroin, morphine and opium decreased by 32, 25, and 14 per cent respectively.

 The Afghanistan Drug Report makes use of the MCN Afghanistan Drug Reporting System, a central repository of narcotics-related data collected within the country that was launched in June of this year and serves as the location for all CN data in the country. 

 The Alterative Development sections of the report were informed by discussions with counterparts from other countries including Colombia, Peru and Thailand on key success factors.

 Key recommendations in this report include the need for better coordination between CN-focused agencies, mainstreaming of counter narcotics efforts in all development planning, the need for sustained support to enforcement agencies to carry out eradication, seizures and arrests of those involved in the illicit drug trade, increased provision of treatment facilities for drug dependents - especially in rural areas, the development of an Afghan-led National Drug Prevalence Survey and the need for strong political will, sufficient resources and coordination for the development, roll-out and monitoring evaluation of comprehensive Alternative Development interventions across the country.

 It is our sincere wish that this report will inform policy making to ensure that counter-narcotics objectives remain a key element of national development planning and regional and international discourse and cooperation.