Drug use, trafficking, production, and cultivation of illicit substances affect most countries in the world, posing public health, development and security problems both in industrialized and developing countries. The use of opiates and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) like methamphetamine is becoming a growing concern in West and Central Africa, and people who inject drugs are among the most severely affected population groups. Much remains to be done in order to more effectively prevent, treat, and reintegrate drug users.

Effective national responses to these problems include law enforcement efforts to stop or reduce production and trafficking of illicit drugs (supply reduction), along with approaches to prevent drug use and dependence and to establish programmes for the treatment and care of users (demand reduction).

UNODC, working with regional and national level partners, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), supports countries in West and Central Africa in their drug use prevention, treatment and reintegration efforts. Technical support is primarily targeted at the institutional capacity building needs of the countries in the region, in particular, to address problems of opiate and ATS use through evidence-based treatment and prevention approaches. UNODC also helps ensure that data on HIV prevalence and access to core HIV services is generated, analyzed and shared. UNODC supports specific country-level initiatives to combat HIV, with technical backstopping and advice.

UNODC focuses on assisting Member States to implement evidence-based policies and programmes. In a joint programme with WHO, UNODC helps to:

  • Develop and promote models for evidence-based drug use prevention policies and programmes;
  • Develop and disseminate standards, tool and guidelines on best practice intervention;
  • Enhance networks and related capacity to train practitioners;
  • Improve networks and related capabilities to research and evaluate the drug use situation and related responses.

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