Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries


Press Release

UNODC and UNICEF to conduct first ever National Youth Drug Use Survey in Afghanistan


KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 August 2016

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN children's agency, UNICEF, have joined forces to lead development and roll-out of the first ever National Youth Drug Use Survey in Afghanistan to gain insights on the exposure of adolescents and youth to drugs in Afghanistan starting. This is particularly significant as the as the most recent National Drug Use Survey (2015) found that over 9 per cent of children nationally are drug positive. 

The youth survey is part of the "Trends and Impacts" programme of UNODC's Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring (RP) countries. Survey results will guide stakeholders working to protect adolescents in Afghanistan from drug-related harm through prevention, response and remedial actions. 

The new national survey will be conducted with in-school young people between the ages of 13-18. Pilot surveys will also be conducted with out-of-school youth in Afghanistan, with a view to identifying possible linkages between child protection concerns and drug exposure. 

UNODC's Regional Programme, UNODC headquarters' Drug Research Section and UNICEF Afghanistan will provide technical support for the survey, which is being undertaken in conjunction with key ministries of the Government of Afghanistan including Education, Public Health, Counter Narcotics and Deputy Youth Affairs, in addition to UNFPA.

Similar National Youth Drug Use Surveys are being conducted in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, and are also planned for Iran, the Kyrgyz Republic Iran and Pakistan.

Data collection will commence in the coming weeks with full findings of the Afghanistan National Youth Drug Use Survey expected to be published in early 2017.

We are thankful to the European Union, Italy and Denmark for their on-going support to this activity.



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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child in 190 countries and territories, with a special focus on reaching those in greatest need. For more information about UNICEF and its work in Afghanistan visit: