UNODC: "Each Person Counts: Kazakhstanis' Stories of the World Drug Problem in Photographs"

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Kazakhstan in cooperation with the USAID marked the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking - 26 June - by opening a ten-day photo exhibition entitled "Each person counts: Kazakhstanis' stories of the world drug problem in photographs" by renown photographer , Mr.Nick Danziger. The exhibition will be open from 26 June until 3 July, "Arbat", 1 A. Mambetov str., Astana, Kazakhstan.

According to Ms. Signe Rotberga, Regional HIV Advisor of UNODC: "the current photo exhibition is a part of the global exhibition portraying the complex nature of drug use, and challenges and opportunities for drug dependence treatment and care in low- and middle-income countries, capturing the diversity of circumstances which lead to substance use, the ways in which people manage their addictions and displaying how treatment has affected their present".

The renowned photographer, Mr. Nick Danziger, tells the story of people affected by drug use disorders and of professionals providing drug dependence treatment and care services to those in need.

Stories of recovery provide a personal insight into how people can manage their drug use disorders with the support of the health care system. These personal stories give evidence to the effectiveness of treatment and care services and advocate for further efforts in this area to ensure both health and human rights are put at the centre stage of countering the world drug problem, nothing less than would be expected for any other disease.

Available data shows that there is still a major challenge ahead: according to the 2017 World Drug Report only one in six persons with a drug use disorder has access to treatment services. Further, only 7.1% of those with past-year substance use disorders received minimally adequate treatment: 10.3% in high income, 4.3% in upper-middle income and 1.0% in low/lower-middle income countries (Degenhardt et al., 2017).

In Kazakhstan, in 2016 only 0,23% of the estimated number of drug users with opioid dependence had access to medication assisted treatment, as opposed to the 20-40% recommended by the WHO, UNODS and UNAIDS (UNODC, 2017).

The current photographs focus on the drug dependence treatment services in Kazakhstan that have been supported by the UNODC and PEPFAR. It is an example of how comprehensive treatment can be developed in middle-income countries.

Prior to the exhibition, Mr. Nick Danziger conducted a three-day training-course on visual advocacy for some 30 NGOs and media representative on 29 to 31 June in Almaty and similar training run for Astana journalists on 25 June aimed at stopping stigma by using new technics in visual representation of information and advocating with knowledge and respect to human rights.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking (World Drug Day), is held annually on 26 June under the slogan #ListenFirst.

UNODC supports Member States in their efforts to develop drug dependence treatment and care services in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. UNODC and USAID engage with health and drug control authorities and facilitate the engagement of civil society to support the planning and implementation of humane and evidence-based treatment for all who need it.  


For more information, please contact Vasilina Brazhko (Mrs.)

Communication and PR Officer, UNODC/ROCA

Tel: +996 312 32 17 32; +996 775 98 78 17

E-mail: vasilina.brazhkoхфеъ

Facebook: @UNODCCentralAsia