Drug Abuse in Africa


Trends in Drug Abuse


Burkina Faso
A large increase in cannabis abuse and a slight increase in the abuse of stimulants, sedatives and
volatile solvents were reported for 1989 and 1990.  A large increase in the traffic of heroin for the
same period was also reported.  The increase in cannabis abuse has been attributed to insufficient
controls (U.N. 1989, 1990). 
      In 1993, a large decrease in the abuse of heroin and cocaine were reported.  The decrease in
consumption is attributed to attitude change towards drug abuse.  Abuse of synthetic narcotic
analgesics, cannabis and volatile solvents was reported to be stable (U.N. 1993).  The consumption of
volatile solvents by young abusers, 10 to 15 years of age, is increasing (Report 1994).

Large increases in the abuse of volatile solvents as well as in psychotropic substances were reported
for 1989 (U.N. 1989).

Cote D'Ivoire
In 1993, some increase in the abuse of benzodiazepines was reported. Heroin and cannabis abuse were
reported stable while the abuse of cocaine, amphetamine and barbiturates were reported decreasing (U.N.

An increase in opiates abuse has been reported (INCSR 1993; UNDCP CPF 1993). An increase in the abuse
of cannabis and psychotropic substances such as amphetamines, barbiturates, methaqualone and
benzodiazepines has been also reported (UNDCP CPF 1993). Earlier reports have also suggested a large
increase in the abuse of all drugs in 1989 (U.N. 1989a). 
      Abuse of "hard" drugs such as heroin is reported to be increasing among young Egyptians (INCSR 1993).

There has been a large increase in the abuse of cannabis, as well as some increase in the consumption
of barbiturates.  Increases have been attributed to the growing rate of unemployment and the
displacement of people from their residential areas.  Increased availability of illicit drugs such as
cannabis has been attributed to more demand, especially, in the urban areas, more supply to meet the
demand and weak control of illicit trafficking at the point of entry to the country (U.N. 1993). 
      The consumption of khat is spreading among all age groups (U.N. 1993).  
      Benzene sniffing has been reported spreading among street children in Addis Ababa and other towns (U.N.

Drug abuse is reported to be increasing, especially, among the youth (Mounguengui 1990).

A large increase in the abuse of heroin and cocaine has been reported for 1993.  Some increase in the
abuse of synthetic narcotic analgesics has been also reported.  The abuse of amphetamine and
benzodiazepines are reported stable.  Some decrease has been reported in the consumption of
hallucinogens.  The trend in the abuse of cocaine and heroin is viewed as connected to middle aged
affluent traders using the drug as a status symbol, as well as to an increase in the availability of
heroin and cocaine due to traffickers' efforts (U.N. 1993).

Community concern is increasing in relation to the abuse of heroin, cocaine, methaqualone and solvents.
However, drug abuse is not considered a major problem (Mwenesi Abdullah Halima 1995).

A general increase in drug abuse is reported (Mali - Year unknown).

The Trust Fund for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts has confirmed the observed heroin
epidemic in Mauritius in 1986.  After aggressive measures taken by the government in 1985 and 1986, a
sudden downward trend was observed in 1987, which continued until 1990.  Since then a slight increase
in trafficking and consumption of heroin has been reported (HONLEA 1991).  Some increase in the abuse
of cannabis has also been reported.  The consumption of benzodiazepines is stable.  Some decrease in
the abuse of opium has been observed (U.N. 1993). 
      The increase in the consumption of illicit drugs could be attributed to increased availability of
illicit drugs and to an increase in income due to a higher employment rate ant rapid urbanization of
Mauritius.  An increase in trafficking has also been reported (U.N. 1993). 
      According to statistics obtained from the Police Department, it is observed that the number of
arrests, compared to that of a couple of years ago, is lightly on the increase (U.N. 1992, 1993). 
      More and more young people are smoking cannabis when they meet in the evenings in odd places and have
a joint.  Mauritius has no unemployment problems and most people are working and can afford a cannabis
joint.  This "new" phenomena has touched some students as well.  This trend is troubling enough as
cannabis is often used as the stepping stone for such drugs as heroin (EFDR 1993).

Cannabis has been the main drug of traditional abuse for many years. It has been mostly smoked but also
eaten as a pastry. During the seventies the main drug of abuse remained cannabis , although abuse of
sedatives, amphetamines and volatile solvents was also prevalent. In the eighties, the lacing of
cannabis cigarettes with other drugs became prevalent. Since the late nineties, heroin and cocaine were
introduced into the drug scene, especially in the North (Lamasouri 1993).  
      In 1993, a large increase in the abuse of heroin and cocaine was reported.  Some increase was reported
for cannabis, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives, as well as for volatile solvents. 
Consumption of amphetamines was reported stable.  The increase in the demand of drugs has been
attributed to socio-economic upheavals (U.N. 1993).  
      A tendency towards poly drug consumption has been reported (U.N. 1993).

Drug abuse is reported as increasing since Independence (March 1990) (U.N. 1991). 
      Cannabis abuse was reported to be decreasing in 1992, which is attributed to increased control by the
newly formed Drug Enforcement Bureau (DEB), and the emergency situation in South Africa which makes
trafficking of cannabis to Namibia difficult (U.N. 1992). 
      A large increase in methaqualone abuse as well as some increase in heroin and cocaine abuse was
reported for 1992.  An increase in the abuse of sedatives and alcohol among the White Namibian
population has been reported.  The increase in the abuse of certain drugs has been attributed to rising
unemployment and migration to urban areas (U.N. 1992).

Drug abuse is reported on the increase in 1992 and 1993, particularly with respect to heroin, cocaine,
cannabis and, to a lesser extent, amphetamines and benzodiazepines.  The increase in illicit drug
consumption has been attributed to poor, depressed economic situation resulting in large unemployment,
stress and parental deprivation.  The increase in rural-urban migration with attendant social changes
in urban settings has been identified as a contributing factor to drug abuse problems.  The increased
availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as a result of illicit trafficking has been
reported as another major factor (U.N. 1992, 1993). 
      Multiple drug abuse is reported to be stable (U.N. 1993). 
      Interdiction at land, air and sea ports are reported to have resulted in a decrease in the supply of
illicit drugs, leading to increased illicit cannabis cultivation.  The establishment of clandestine
laboratories has been reported for 1992 (U.N. 1992; Nigeria 1993).  Increase in the rate of
establishment of clandestine laboratories is reported to have resulted in an increase in the
appreciation of precursor drugs (U.N. 1993).

A large decrease in heroin and cannabis consumption was reported in 1990.  The decrease in heroin abuse
was attributed to increased control and prevention activities by relevant public services and
reeducation of abusers. The decrease in cannabis abuse was reported to be due to destruction of
cultivation areas, as well as to educational talks and control searches (U.N. 1990). 
     In contrast with the decrease in cannabis consumption reported for the year 1990 (U.N. 1990), a 1993
report suggests an increase in cannabis production (Interpol 1993).

An increase in cannabis cultivation has been reported in Senegal. Cannabis crops yield higher earnings
than traditional crops (mainly peanuts) and an increase in demand for cannabis has been reported in
neighbouring Gambia (U.N. 1989). 
      Local drug abuse among youths is on the rise (INCSR 1993). 
      Senegalese are increasingly involved in international narcotics activities, including the false
document industry (INCSR 1993).

South Africa
There is a significant increase in the abuse of diverted licit substances (such as volatile solvents
and licit medical drugs). In addition, increases in the availability of illicit drugs, such as heroin
and cocaine and diverted illicit drugs, such as  methaqualone and "Wellcanol", dipipanone hydrochloride, a synthetic narcotic analgesic are also reported (U.N. 1992). There is a sharp rise in confiscations and arrests relating to drug trafficking.  Methaqualone is also smuggled in increasing quantities into the country where it is very often taken with alcohol.  There has been a sharp use in the number who abuse this combination of drugs (U.N. 1993).   
      The increase in the consumption of diverted licit drugs and illicit drugs is attributed to unemployment, family disintegration, decline in religiosity, urbanization, changes in attitudes in the community and peer pressure (U.N. 1993).

A large increase in the abuse of cocaine, barbiturates and other unspecified drugs was reported for
1991.  A large decrease was reported in the abuse of heroin and cannabis.  The decrease in cannabis
abuse is attributed to efforts made by the police (Drug Combat Administration), and the decrease in
availability caused by crop eradication (U.N. 1991).

A large increase is reported in the abuse of opiates and cocaine, as well as in the abuse of cannabis
and volatile solvents. Some increase in the abuse of benzodiazepines, some decrease in the abuse of
barbiturates, and a large decrease in the abuse of amphetamines are also reported (U.N. 1991). 
      The increase in the abuse of cannabis and volatile solvents is attributed to unemployment, social
upheavals, family disruptions as well as high rates of drop-outs from school.  Increased production and
trafficking of cannabis has led to increased availability of the drug (U.N. 1991). 
      Cocaine has been recently introduced due to traffickers' diversion of their routes via Uganda (U.N.

United Republic of Tanzania
An increase in the abuse of volatile solvents and khat among street children has been reported. This is
attributed to the deterioration of the socio-economic situation (U.N. 1991).  
      Some increase in the abuse of heroin and cocaine was also reported for 1991. This is attributed to
increased trafficking and more availability. A significant proportion of heroin abusers are initiated
by traffickers, who offer the drug free of charge (U.N. 1991). Abuse of other drugs remained stable (U.N.
1991; Tanzania 1993).

There are signs that cannabis cultivation is increasing throughout Africa, but it is especially
pronounced in Zambia among five other countries in the continent (INCB 1993). 
      Recently, the government of Zambia reported an increase in heroin abuse (INCB 1993).


No information available.