Briefing Note on Fieldwork in Kandahar Province, December 2015 – January 2016: Opium Poppy and Rural Livelihoods

This briefing note provides initial observations from fieldwork conducted between 14 December 2015 and 8 January 2016 in ten field sites within Arghandab, Panjwai, and Zharai Districts of Kandahar Province.

In 2014/15, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),farmers in Kandahar Province cultivated 21,020 hectare of opium poppy, the third largest area after Helmand and Farah, notwithstanding an estimated 38 percent decrease in cultivated area from 2013/14.

All Bets are Off! Prospects for (B)reaching Agreements and Drug Control in Helmand and Nangarhar in the run up to Transition

The issue of illicit drug production has largely fallen off the policy agenda in Afghanistan. In addition to the increasing focus on the part of Afghanistan’s foreign partners on an exit strategy, this has been to a considerable extent due to a favorable trend in the short-term metrics by which the drugs issue is typically judged.

“Poppy Free” Provinces: A Measure or a Target?

This report is one of seven multi-site case studies undertaken during the second stage of AREU’s three-year study “Applied Thematic Research into Water Management, Livestock and the Opium Economy” (WOL). The report details the processes by which two provinces, Nangarhar and Ghor, achieved what the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has come to refer to as “poppy free” status in the 2007/08 growing season.

Afghanistan’s Hidden Drug Problem: The Misuse of Psychotropics

Afghanistan has gained notoriety as the world’s leading producer of opium and heroin, but less well known is that it also has an increasing number of problem drug users. While popular perceptions of drug misuse and dependency in the country tend to focus on illicit drugs, the evidence suggests that many people also misuse psychotropics—pharmaceutical drugs such as painkillers and tranquillisers that are often cheap and widely available from pharmacies and other retail outlets.