Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Third Regional Network Meeting of Drug Demand Reduction Coordination Centres

Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan, 10 May 2018

Sharing progress, experiences and challenges in the fields of drug prevention and drug treatment can greatly strengthen capacity in the region to address and respond to the persisting and evolving situation with respect to illicit drug use. In 2015, countries of the Regional Programme established a regional network of DDR Coordination Centres. The Coordination Centres in each country were selected by member countries to represent the drug treatment facilities in their respective countries.

On 10 May 2018, the 3rd regional meeting of the Network of Drug Demand Reduction Coordination Centres was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This event was convened by the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries and hosted by the Government of Tajikistan with participation of drug dependence treatment professionals from Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

In his opening statement by Mr. Jeremy Milsom, Senior Programme Coordinator of the Regional Programme noted, "... there are constant changes in way drugs are peddled to users and changes in the types of drugs becoming available on the market. This regional network of coordinating drug treatment centres plays an important role as a platform for sharing experiences on emerging drug problems as well as treatment responses and outcomes, especially for vulnerable groups such as women and children."

During the highly interactive workshop, participating countries shared information on changing drug use trends in their respective countries, challenges, perspectives of cooperation and best practices. At the end of the meeting, participants agreed on a set of recommendations, which will guide the work of the regional group and forms the basis of an action plan for the coming year. 

Among other outcomes, meeting participants highlighted the need to strengthen regional cooperation in relation to drug prevention and treatment, drug related HIV prevention and research into drug use trends, noting the high value of being able to share new developments, experiences and best practices in these fields.

On 11 May 2018, participants conducted fields visits to the Narcology Drug Treatment Centres under the Ministry of Health and Social Security of the Republic of Tajikistan and State Institution "Republic centres on Medical-Socio rehabilitation Tangai". Staff of the centres shared treatment methodologies, experiences and challenges.

UNODC thanked the European Union for funding the event