Drug Demand Reduction

Getting People Talking About Drug Addiction

Afghanistan is currently the world’s dominant producer of opium, which threatens all aspects of development in the country from security to democracy. In addition to its well publicized effects on addicts in western countries, the opium trade also has devastating effects on the lives of many Afghans and their families. The vast majority of Afghans have little understanding of the detrimental effects of drug use on the mind and body or genuine options to address them. There is little open discussion or debate about the negative impact of drug use or poppy farming.  As a result, there is virtually no understanding of addiction or the dangers of opiates and very few treatment facilities.

Our programming helps Afghans understand the pervasive drug trade and the impact it could have on their own lives from an Afghan cultural and Islamic perspective, not from a western one. The campaign includes a television drama series, radio drama series, and mobile theater performances using a traveling theater troupe to access even the most remote communities. Equal Access has also recently produced two documentaries on drug use in Afghanistan, one to be shared with the international community as a way of advocating for funding for treatment, and another to be broadcast to an Afghan audience to increase awareness of the epidemic and hopefully promote dialogue on how families, and the country in general, can begin to address the problem. These documentaries were funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Kabul.

Success Story

Mobile Theater Attracts Thousands at School

Media Links

Audio Mobile Theater in Badakhshan gets people talking about drug addiction.