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.
A workshop hosted by the India HIV/AIDS alliance demonstrates how important harm reduction measures are to communities and in order for them to remain effective they must be personalised for each individual seeking treatment.
A new law is being formulated in Bangladesh that would impose the death penalty on "patrons of drug trading, drug-syndicates, and god-fathers", a policy that would continue the violent war on drugs and violate human rights immensely.
Iran Human Rights documents a reduction in the number of drug-related executions, but decries dozens of executions carried during discussions of amendments to the Anti-Narcotics law, which will commute several thousand sentences.
Maziyar Ghiabi, guest editor of the special issue explains the 3 main purposes of this issue: complementarity, questions of methods and discipline, and finally to challenge the established assumptions about the place of drugs in the social sciences.
Recent evidence suggests that allowing access to medical cannabis may reduce the frequency of opioid overdoses. This is particularly pertinent in India as certain regions have become increasingly gripped by a deadly opioid crisis.