Post Independence Era

       After Myanmar regained her independence from Britain, the Social Affairs Ministry organized a meeting on 11 February 1948 and decided to address the problem of opium addiction during the next five years and implemented the programme accordingly. Initially, a new wing in the Yangon Tadargale Mental Hospital was built in order that drug addicts from Yangon, Hanthawaddy (Now Thanlyin), Insein and Bago could receive treatment. In 1950, Opium Dens Suppression Act was promulgated and action was taken in the above mentioned regions.         

       In 1958, the Myanmar Government formed the Opium Investigation Committee and carried out operations to combat consumption, introduce crop substitution and took measures for rehabilitation of drug addicts and undertook measures on drug issues in Shan State by implementing the Myanmar Opium Act effectively. The Compulsory Registration of Opium Addicts Act was promulgated in 1955 but due to political and military situations both in the country and abroad, this act was not fully implemented.

       Myanmar has been combating the drug menace valiantly with its own means and on 30 March 1961, Myanmar joined the international community to fight this scourge of mankind by signing the United Nations Single Convention on Drugs. The convention came into force on 29 July 1963 and parties to the convention were obliged to promulgate domestic laws and regulations on drugs, to cooperate with others member states and are only allowed to produce narcotic drugs for scientific and medicinal purposes. The Myanmar delegation attended the United Nations Conference on the Convention of Psychotropic Substances which was convened in Vienna, Austria from 11 January to 19 February 1971, but Myanmar did not sign the convention as the use of psychotropic drugs in Myanmar was negligibly small and it had no problematic issues on the matter. Although Myanmar is not a signatory to the convention, she cooperated with the international community when dealing with matters concerning these drugs.