UNODC work in Central Asia is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular SDG target 3.3 to end AIDS by 2030 and the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy 2016-2021 that calls for a 75 per cent reduction of new HIV infections including among people who inject drugs by 2020.

UNODC facilitates review and adaptation of national legislation and policies to ensure they are up-to-date with respect to scientific evidence on drug use, drug dependence and HIV and conform to international human rights obligations. UNODC conducts high-level advocacy with decision makers, policy makers and law enforcement agencies to create an enabling environment for harm reduction. We also collaborate with the Governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on developing mechanisms for transition to domestic funding for key HIV prevention interventions including needle and syringe programmes and methadone maintenance therapy. In 2015, four normative documents were adopted that will improve access to HIV prevention services and reduce stigma and discrimination of people who use drugs.

In the context of injecting drug use, law enforcement officials play a critical role of ensuring that people who inject drugs continue to access essential harm reduction and other health services. To ensure law enforcement bodies are knowledgeable, responsive and willing to become agents of change and cohesion in the community, UNODC supports police academies in the design, tailoring and delivery of training curriculum. With this knowledge they are better informed and equipped to grasp the unique opportunities their work presents to reach people who inject drugs and people in prisons.

We involve civil society organisations in all aspects of HIV response by ensuring their inclusion in nationally-led processes, providing access to capacity-building opportunities, and supporting their advocacy for harm reduction and rights of people who use drugs.

Law enforcement, criminal justice, public health and civil society can effectively complement each other's work. UNODC builds partnerships between police, HIV programmes and civil society organizations to improve access to harm reduction services in countries with concentrated HIV epidemics among people who inject drugs.

Drug Use Prevention

The core intervention promoted by UNODC in the field of drug use prevention in Central Asia is family skills training. UNODC has selected Families and School Together (FAST) programme to be implemented in Central Asia for its adaptability and suitability for the region. FAST is an after-school multi-family group program offered for 8 weeks to all children within the first grade (6-7 years old) and their families. The multi-systemic intervention brings together family, home, school and community to increase child well-being by strengthening relationships and factors that protect against stress.

Since 2010, five Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan) have benefited from piloting the FAST programme  that has been cculturally adapted  and successfully piloted in 35 schools of the region during three implementation cycles. 305 national facilitators have been trained on the FAST implementation. 12 of them were trained as national trainers to supervise program implementation and scale it up. Overall, 762 families benefited from the program.

UNODC has stated the implementation of another evidence-based family skills training program Strengthening the Family Program 10-14year olds (SFP 10-14) in Central Asia using the established infrastructure of the FAST.

The SFP10-14 is a seven-session program focusing on reducing family-related risk factors for adolescent problem behaviours and building protective factors of young adolescent children (10-14 years old) and their parents/caregivers with involvement of community members. SFP 10-14 has been evaluated many times by independent researchers in randomized control trials or health services research with very positive results in reducing substance abuse and delinquency risk factors by improving family relationships.

Drug Dependence Treatment

In the field of drug dependence treatment UNODC is promoting and supporting evidence-based and ethical treatment policies, strategies and interventions to reduce the health and social burden caused by drug use and dependence. The goal of the UNODC interventions is to improve the quality of drug dependence treatment services and increase access to drug treatment for all those in need, thus reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug dependence, including HIV and AIDS.