Illicit Drug Control

Officers from Lao PDR and Cambodia get training to boost cross-border cooperation. Photo: UNODC Lao PDR

Officers from Lao PDR and Cambodia get training to boost cross-border cooperation. Photo: UNODC Lao PDR

The Ministry of Public Security chairs the Illicit Drug Control Sector Working Group. Japan, Australia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are Co-Chairs.


Drug policy in Lao PDR has had to tackle three separate, overlapping problems:

  1. Lao PDR remains a significant producer of opium. Data from the UNODC suggests that the total area under opium cultivation in 2015 was 5,900 hectares, down from 6,200 in 2014. In most of the areas targeted by alternative development interventions opium production has been significantly reduced.
  2. Drug use appears to be on the rise. The policy response is based on a public health approach. The Lao Government has continued to invest in in-patient drug treatment centres as its primary response. UNODC and a number of international partners have in cooperation with the Lao Government invested in the roll-out of community based treatment centers across the country.
  3. Significant quantities of opiates, ATS and precursors continue to be trafficked through Laos to neighbouring countries. Further investments have been made in improving border control, especially in the network of border liaison offices. The criminal justice system has sought to direct its resources towards the people and networks that orchestrate, manage, and control the drug industry.

A new National Drug Control Master Plan was drafted in 2015. The plan will be implemented until 2020. The new plan is based on a review of the 2009 – 2015 Master Plan, and offers a set of evidence based and pragmatic measures to mitigate the harmful effects of illicit drugs in the country.

Sub-Sector Working Groups

The Illicit Drug Control Sector Working Group includes two Sub-Sector Working Groups:

  • Drug
    Chair – Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision
  • Crime
    Chairs – General Police Department and Counter Narcotic Police Department, Ministry of Public Security

SWG Secretariat Contacts

  • Mr. Phoutsavath Sounthala, Acting Director of Planning and Cooperation Department, LCDC, Tel: 020 9888 4446
  • Mr. Oudone Sisongkham, Senior Programme Officer, UNODC, Tel: 020 5550 9058