Drug use and harm reduction in Afghanistan
1 Division of International Health & Cross-Cultural Medicine, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, 0622 La Jolla, CA, USA, 92093-0622
2 National HIV/AIDS Control Program, Ministry of Public Health, Massoud Road, Kabul, Afghanistan
Harm Reduction Journal 2005, 2:13 doi:10.1186/1477-7517-2-13Published: 7 September 2005
Opium has been cultivated in Afghanistan since 1100 A.D., although production has steadily increased since 1979. Currently, Afghanistan produces three-quarters of the global opium supply, with injection drug use and HIV currently following the opium trade route through Central Asia. Although systematic studies are lacking, heroin use appears to be on the rise in Afghanistan. The purpose of this paper is to briefly provide historical background and current statistics for drug production and use in Afghanistan, to discuss the new government's policies towards problem drug use and available rehabilitation programs, and to assess Afghan harm reduction needs with consideration of regional trends.