Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in Africa

Burkina Faso    

Extent of Drug Abuse
Abuse of cannabis, stimulants such as amphetamines, ephedrine, and a preparation containing codeine (sedaspir), sedative hypnotics (immenoctal) and volatile solvents (glues) has been reported for 1989 and 1990. Estimates on prevalence of abuse are not available (U.N. 1989, 1990, 1993).

Abuser Characteristics
Cannabis abusers age ranges between 20 and 32 years, tend to have no fixed employment and being single.  It has been estimated that around 7 per cent of cannabis abusers are females.  Stimulant and sedative abuse is reported among males, 20 to 40 year old. About 7.3 per cent of the stimulant abusers are females.  Volatile solvent abuse is reported among youth, 12 to 16 year of age (U.N. 1989, 1990).

            Two groups of workers seem to be particularly at risk of drug abuse: farmers and drivers (truck and taxi) (U.N. 1993). Cannabis is abused by young people, prostitutes and certain petty merchants (Report 1994).
Heroin and cocaine abuse is often associated with tourism and expatriated residents, certain prostitutes, and some artists (Report 1994).

Regional Variations

Cannabis is abused mainly in urban areas.  Stimulants are abused more in rural areas, mainly by mine workers (U.N. 1990)


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).

Mode of Intake

Cannabis is reported smoked or boiled with grains and ingested. Volatile solvents are reported dissolved in coffee and drunk (U.N. 1989). In 1993, heroin, cocaine, and cannabis were reported to be smoked.  Synthetic narcotic analgesics and amphetamines are ingested and volatile solvents are reported inhaled (U.N. 1993).



No information reported in Annual Reports Questionnaire by 31st December 1994.



National Strategy

A National Plan for Drug Abuse Control was to be drafted, according to 1991 reports (CMO 1991).
An Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Drugs was established in 1992.

                                                    Structure of National Drug Control Organs

The central government unit responsible for liaison and coordination of national drug control policy is the Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services within the Ministry of Health, Social Action and Family.



                                                                         Treaty Adherence

Burkina Faso is Party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

                                                 Measures Taken with Respect to Drug Control

Recently enacted laws and regulations:
None reported.

Licensing system for manufacture, trade and distribution:
There is a government-controlled licensing system for both narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Difficulties are encountered when processing the import of psychotropic substances listed in Schedule IV of the 1971 Convention. No manufacture of either psychotropic substances or narcotic drugs was reported.

Control system:
(i) Prescription requirement: There is a prescription requirement for supply or dispensation of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It was reported in 1990, however, that the control for prescriptions of psychotropic substances was not strictly adhered to in all cases.
(ii) Warnings on packages: The law requires warnings on packages or accompanying leaflet information to safeguard the users of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
(iii) Control of non-treaty substances, if any: None reported.
(iv) Other administrative measures: None reported.


                                                                          Social Measures

Penal sanctions related to social measures: In 1991, courts applied measures of treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation or social reintegration for a drug-related offence neither as an alternative nor in addition to conviction or punishment.

Other social measures: In 1989, the Secretary of State for Social Action implemented a programme aimed at marginal people, intended to prevent juvenile delinquencies.


                                                       DEMAND REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

Primary Prevention

Drug prevention activities are carried out by the Ministry of Health and an organization named ABUPAT. These activities are targeted at the population as a whole, with special focus on youth.

            Media activities in 1989 and 1991, a radio interview programme regarding drug abuse was aired. Other drug prevention activities have included television educational programmes and newspaper articles. November 25th has been declared the National Anti-Drugs Day (U.N. 1989; CMO 1991). The national Radio and Television broadcast anti-drugs educational programmes, targeting youth especially (U.N. 1993).

            Drug prevention education workshops and presentations are carried out in selected secondary schools but no official programme has been established (U.N. 1993).

Treatment and Rehabilitation

In 1990, 14 drug abusers, received treatment in a non-specialized hospital. Of these, 4 were treated due to amphetamine and 10 due to cannabis abuse, 10 were in treatment for the first time (CMO 1991).

            In Burkina Faso, there are two psychiatric and nine general hospitals which serve also as treatment facilities for drug abusers.  No drug related data have been reported (U.N. 1993).


                                                        SUPPLY REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

Arrests, Convictions and Types of Offenses

In 1990, 39 persons were convicted for drug trafficking (U.N. 1990).


In 1991, about 68 kg of cannabis herb and 27,384 units of stimulants were seized (U.N. 1991).

            During the years 1992-1993, 1.3 kg of cannabis, 99 g of cocaine and 100 g of heroin were seized.  About 624,874 amphetamines and other pills and 60 boxes were seized, during the same period (La Depeche 1994).

                                                                    Supply Source of Drugs

Heroin trafficking is increasing. India is reported to be the main source. Most heroin is transported overland to neighbouring countries and Nigeria (U.N. 1989, 1990).

            Cannabis is cultivated mainly in border areas, in the region of Bobo-Dioulasso and of Borono (La Depeche 1994).

References and Notes

U.N. 1989,1990,1991, 1993. Replies to the UNDCP "Annual Reports Questionnaires" for the years 1989,1990, 1991 and 1993.

CMO 1991. Reply to UNDCP questionnaire concerning the seven targets of the "Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control" (CMO) 1991.

La Depeche 1994.  Periodique d'information publie par le service de presse du cabinet. Ouagadougou BF. no 9 Avril 1994.  "Lutte Contre la Drogue"

Report 1994.  Definition d'une Politique Nationale de Lutte Contre la Drogue au Burkina Faso.  Ouagadougou, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th/ Feb./1994.  Comite National de Lutte Contre la Drogue. 1ere Session Ordinaire Statutaire.



** The Legal, Administrative and Other Action Taken to Implement the International Drug Control Treaties section was prepared by the Secretariat of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs based on Annual Reports Questionnaire for the years 1988-91.