Afghan Opiate Use

"Illicit drug use has increased across the country, dramatically so for opium, heroin and other opiates. In four years, the number of regular opium users in Afghanistan grew from 150,000 to approximately 230,000 ? a jump of 53 per cent. The numbers are even more alarming for heroin. In 2005, the estimate of regular heroin users in the country was 50,000, compared to approximately 120,000 users in 2009, a leap of 140 per cent. Overall, the annual prevalence of regular opiate use is estimated to be 2.7 per cent of the adult population1 (between 290,000 and 360,000 persons). Opium is by far the most commonly used opiate with an estimated prevalence of about 1.9 per cent of the adult population. Heroin prevalence is estimated to be about 1.0 per cent of the adult population and other opiates users2 are estimated to make up about 0.5 per cent of the adult population."


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Drug Use in Afghanistan: 2009 Survey" (Vienna, Austria: United Nations, 2009), p. 5.