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Updated On: Monday, 16 July 2018
Development Issues

World Drug Report 2018

Content by: South-South News

28 June 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — At the launch of the 2018 World Drug Report, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said global drug markets are “expanding” as cocaine and opium production worldwide has hit “absolute record highs.”

Speaking on June 26 at the UN headquarters in New York, UNODC chief Yury Fedotov said drug trafficking online using “the dark net is growing rapidly”. He added that the range of drugs and combinations available is “unprecedented” with new psychoactive substances proliferating and methamphetamines spreading “outside their usual markets.”

The report found that opioid overdoses caused some 76 percent of drug-related deaths. Fedatov said the non-medical use of prescription drugs has reached “epidemic proportions” in some parts of the world. He added, “The opioid crisis, in particular the use of fentanyl and its analogues, has contributed to a 21 percent increase in the number of drug over doses in the US to more than 63,000.”

The report stated that global opium production jumped by 65 percent from 2016-2017 to 10,500 tons, the highest estimate recorded by UNODC since it started monitoring global opium production. Some 9,000 tons of this was produced in Afghanistan, mostly in Taliban controlled areas. Cocaine manufacture also reached a record high with an estimated 1,410 tons being produced, the majority of which is produced in Colombia.

The report said Cannabis was the most widely consumed drug in 2016, with 192 million people using it at least once during the previous year and was also a drug of choice for young people. Fedatov estimated that 13.8 million ages 15 to 16 have used cannabis. He said early initiation of adolescents to any drugs may peak among young people ages 18 to 25 years adding that the recreational use of drugs can affect cerebral functions and can act as a gateway to heavier drugs.

Fedotov said the impact on young people is “especially worrisome as they could become the first victims of those who are planning to expand the current markets or the developed new markets.” He stressed the need to the issued of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

The 2018 World Drug Report provides a global overview of the supply and demand of opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as their impact on health. It highlights the different drug use patterns and vulnerabilities of particular age and gender groups, and highlights the shift in the global drug market.

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