Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in Asia

Costs and Consequences of Drug Abuse in South Asia

No information reported by 31st December 1993.

Bhutan has not assessed the health, social and economic consequences, including financial costs, of drug abuse. Statistics on number of deaths resulting from, or related to, drug abuse in Bhutan are not available (U.N. 1989).

The average nationwide HIV seroprevalence rate increased from 0.2 per cent in 1986 to 1.3 per cent in 1990 (ESCAP 1993). States bordering Myanmar (less than 1 per cent of the population of India) contribute nearly 16 per cent of the HIV infections in India which is attributed to the high prevalence of drug injecting (ICMR 1993).

No information reported by 31st December 1993.

By the end of 1992, a total of 72,000 persons were tested for HIV infection, of which 612 were drug abusers. No intravenous drug abuser had been found HIV positive. But 5 cases of HIV positive drug abusers have been reported where the mode of transmission is believed to be sexual (Nepal 1993a).

A sample survey of heroin abusers indicates that these abusers spent US$ 37 million annually on heroin (U.N. 1988).

            In a study done in 1989 on 936 heroin abusers, 82 persons had injected heroin at least once and 3 were regular injectors. In addition some males and females fund their drug habit through prostitution (U.N. 1990). It is feared that drug injection and male and female prostitution would increase the spread of AIDS and serum hepatitis. There is an increase in injection of heroin in a sample of the population (U.N. 1989).

            Some of the social problems such as family breakdown, crime, theft, unemployment and male prostitution are attributed to heroin abuse (U.N. 1986). Statistics are not available on number of deaths resulting from, or related to, drug abuse (U.N. 1992).