HEALTH / FITNESS NEWS
June 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

Some 27 million people worldwide are problem drug users, with almost one percent every year dying from narcotics abuse, while cannabis remains the most popular drug, a UN report showed Tuesday.

"Heroin, cocaine and other drugs continue to kill around 200,000 people a year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people, insecurity and the spread of HIV," director Yury Fedotov said as he presented the 2012 World Drug Report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Global production and use of illegal drugs remained relatively stable last year, the report found.

However, this masked shifts in trafficking and consumption that were "significant and also worrying... because they are proof of the resilience and adaptability of illicit drug suppliers and users," the UNODC warned.

Cannabis remained the most widely used drug with up to 224 million users worldwide, although production figures were hard to obtain, the agency said.

Europe was the biggest market for cannabis resin, most of it coming from Morocco, although Afghanistan is becoming a major supplier and domestic production in Europe is also rising, the UNODC said.

"Most European Union member states (are) reporting the cultivation of cannabis herb to be a phenomenon that appears to be on the increase," the report added, noting the increasing involvement of organised crime.

Opium production in Afghanistan, the world's biggest producer with 90 percent of the global share, meanwhile jumped by 61 percent in 2011 to 5,800 tonnes from 3,600 tonnes in 2010, when the crop was hit by disease.

In Southeast Asia as well, cultivating opium was increasingly popular, expanding by 16 percent in 2011, with Myanmar still the second largest producer behind Afghanistan.

Only a small share of this made it to Europe and North America, where opiate use was stable or dropping. Instead, 70 percent of users were in Africa and Asia, the report found.

Cocaine use too was stagnating or falling in Europe and North America, but this was offset by growing use in South America and Australia, as well as parts of Africa and Asia.

Synthetic drugs -- including methamphetamine and "ecstasy" pills -- were meanwhile on the increase, with a recent hike in seizures pointing to the drugs' continued popularity, the UNODC said.

Some 230 million people, or five percent of the global population aged 15-64, used illegal drugs at least once in 2010, the last year for which data was available, the report found.

As growth in use shifts increasingly from developed to developing countries, UNODC director Yuri Fedotov appealed for more help to newly-affected nations, ill-equipped to fight this problem.

Drug use has also been spilling more into countries along trafficking routes, such as Iran or parts of western and central Africa, the office noted.

Besides the health effects, the UNODC estimated the financial cost of drug use at about $200 billion to $250 billion (160 billion-200 billion euros) to cover drug treatment worldwide, a far cry from the sums currently provided.

AFP


PREVIOUS STORY
'War on drugs' is fueling HIV epidemic: report
NEXT STORY
Teenage pregnancy deaths a 'global scandal': charity

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
FijiFirst names first batch of candidatesFijiFirst leader and Fijiís Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today announced the party's first batch of candidates which includes him and eight other government ministers.
SPORTS
Rewa eager to beat Labasa at homeRewa is determined to end its winless streak against Labasa and coach Marika Rodu sees tomorrow's clash against the Babasiga Lions as another tough battle.
TECHNOLOGY
Only call details given to police in 670 cases: VFVodafone Fiji says it provided call details in 670 cases to police on the production of a search warrant or court order, but does not listen to or record calls, and could not provide such information.
LIFESTYLE/FASHION
Fijian model joins Trumpís agencyA yearís wait finally ended for Fijian teen model Phillipa Steele yesterday as she flew out of the country to join one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world Ė Trump Model Management
ENTERTAINMENT
5 Seconds of Summer announce Aust, NZ showsHot on the heels of selling out two shows at Londonís iconic Wembley Arena, the chart-topping Sydney boys are heading out on the road to play their first-ever headline Australian and New Zealand arena shows, touring in support of their recently released self-titled #1 smash hit debut album.
OFFBEAT
Mercury 'took Princess Diana to gay barQueen singer Freddie Mercury disguised the late Princess Diana as a male model and smuggled her into a notorious gay bar, according to a memoir serialised in Britain's Sunday Times.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS