Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in Africa


Extent of Drug Abuse

According to a 1990 study conducted among 454 prisoners, medical preparations were abused by 41 per cent of the prisoners, cannabis (called also "yamba") by 13.1 per cent and heroin 0.7 per cent. About 17.4 per cent abused a drug once in their lifetime, 49.6 per cent from time to time, 18.4 per cent daily and 14.6 per cent several times a day. About 34.3 per cent of the prisoners are drug dependent abusers (Facy and Delile 1990).

            According to a 1990 study among 46 patients in drug related treatment in a hospital, 51.1 per cent abuse medical preparations, 33.4 per cent cannabis and 2.2 per cent volatile solvents. About 22.2 per cent abused a drug once in their lifetime, 48.9 per cent from time to time, 15.6 per cent daily and 13.3 per cent several times a day. About 24.4 per cent of the patients are drug dependent abusers (Facy and Delile 1990).

Abuser Characteristics

In the 1989 prison study, 92.5 per cent of the drug abusers were males, 17.5 per cent were less than 19 years old, 22.5 per cent between 19 and 23 years of age, 23.8 per cent between 24 and 28 years old and 36.2 per cent 29 years or older. A total of 29.7 per cent of the sample were illiterate, 43.6 per cent had received primary education, 23 per cent secondary or technical schooling and 3.7 per cent had received further education (Facy and Delile 1990).

            Among the patients in drug related treatment, most were males (93.6%) and single (80.9%). About 13.1 per cent were less than 19 years old, 30.4 per cent between 19 and 23 years of age, 28.3 per cent between 24 and 28 years old and 28.3 per cent 29 years or older. About 19.6 per cent were illiterate, 52 per cent had primary education, 21.7 per cent had secondary education and 6.5 with higher education (Facy and Delile 1990).

                                                                       Regional Variations

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


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

Mode of Intake

According to the 1989 study of drug abuse in prisons, drug abusers did not inject. The doses of drugs consumed are reported small and consequently cases of drug overdose are very rare.  The 1989 prison study showed that 92.4 per cent consumed their drugs orally and the remainder sniffed their drugs (Facy and Delile 1990).



Prisoners attributed to drug abuse their first contact with the police (12.9%) and incarceration (83.6%). Patients in treatment attributed to drug abuse their first contact with the police (8.9%) and admission to treatment (88.9%).

            Among patients in drug related treatment, 6.4 per cent reported attempting suicide before commencing drug abuse and 8.5 per cent, while abusing drugs.  About 11.1 per cent reported school absenteeism, 2.2 per cent had run away from home and 13.3 per cent had reported other types of difficulties (Facy and Delile 1990).



National Strategy

As a response to a large increase in drug consumption, the Ministries of Public Health and Social Affairs, Justice, National Education and Information set up a National Committee in 1981, to develop a programme to reduce supply and demand for drugs (Mali- Year unknown).

            The new elected government declared that it would give high priority to the fight against narcotics production and trafficking and established an antidrug police unit (INCSR 1993).



                                                                         Treaty Adherence

Mali is Party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, but not to its 1972 Protocol or the 1971 or 1988 UN Conventions (INCSR 1993).


                                                       DEMAND REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

Primary Prevention

The Social Committee of the National Executive Bureau of Youth has prepared brochures on drug abuse targeted at young students.  The Malian Association for Help to the Mentally Ill has also developed a programme of information and consciousness raising for the district of Bamako.  The programme consists of films produced by the mental hygiene section, followed by debates and play lets on the types of dramas that may be caused by drug consumption. Campaigns, on the theme "madness and drug abuse", aimed at young unemployed persons, students, as well as drivers, laborers and farmers have been promoted.  Further campaigns are planned aiming to reach abusers and encourage them to seek help and treatment (Mali - Year unknown).

            Emphasis has been placed on the training of police, doctors, jurists, and teachers (Mali -Year unknown).

Treatment and Rehabilitation

Treatment of drug abusers is primarily carried out in the psychiatric unit of one hospital (Hospital du Point-G).  The creation of a new treatment centre, Centre d'Ecoute, was being planned for young drug abusers and their families (Mali - Year unknown).


                                                        SUPPLY REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

Arrests, Convictions and Types of Offenses

See costs and consequences section above.


In 1992, 47 kg of cannabis herb were seized (ICPO/Interpol 1992).

                                                                    Supply Source of Drugs

Small quantities of cannabis are reported to be locally grown (INCSR 1993).

References and Notes

Facy and Delile 1990.  "Toxicomanes Pris en charge en Afrique: Enquךte Epidemiologique, Rיsultats provisoires".  Resultats Provisoires Juin 1990.

ICPO/Interpol 1992.  Figures were cited by ICPO/Interpol for the year 1992.

INCSR 1993.  International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, April 1993.  United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics Matters.

Mali- Year unknown.  "Note d'information sur la drogue".  Ministטre de la Santי Publique et des Affairs Sociales.  Year unknown.


** 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.  The most recent relevant part of the annual reports questionnaire was submitted for 1986.