Drug policy in South Asia is based on a zero-tolerance approach with punitive legislation that leans heavily on incarceration for people involved in drug offences. Harm reduction and treatment services remain scarce and often of low quality. In the field of supply, crop eradication campaigns have been unable to curb opium production in the region.
Together, the three case studies underscore the importance of applying tailored methods to better reach and meet the needs of women who use drugs and of supporting women themselves to participate meaningfully in the programme design, implementation, and evaluation.
HRI provides tools to assess national harm reduction investment and spending on drug law enforcement in seven Asian countries and insights on the state of harm reduction financing by donors and governments, civil society and community representatives.
Tandon recounts how India's decision to impose a lockdown, forcing people who use drugs to go through withdrawals without treatment, can result in tragic deaths, highlighting the need for a policy change.
Gutierrez provides an analysis of how the participation of communities in the production of crops deemed illicit often represents a coping mechanism in relation to pre-existing forms of structural marginalisation, whilst exposing these communities to further vulnerabilities.