News24

27 million drug users worldwide - UN

2012-06-26 20:05

Vienna - Approximately 27 million people worldwide are problem drug users, with almost 1% of them dying every year from narcotics abuse and cannabis is still the most popular drug, a UN report showed on 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% of the global share, meanwhile jumped by 61% in 2011 to 5 800 ton from 3 600 ton in 2010, when the crop was hit by disease.

Comments
  • Squeegee - 2012-06-26 20:20

    Worldwide or in the Western Cape?

      Squeegee - 2012-06-26 20:22

      Number seems to low. That is only about 0.3%.

      hudayfah.newman - 2012-06-26 20:57

      I clearly saw more then 27 million in a\smokkie\ a few blocks away from me.

  • Kevin - 2012-06-26 20:37

    Who cares? The human species is in absolutely no danger of extinction.

      Squeegee - 2012-06-26 21:03

      Kevin, I care. I have children. I also care about the people who will be robbed and murdered to support this habit.

      pete.moore.12 - 2012-06-27 07:26

      That is a very unique, truthful and hilarious response! Haha

      grant.hide - 2012-06-27 15:59

      Cool so if they have it their way, no alchohol or cigerettes allowed, only prescription drugs. They seem to be an even bigger problem. So ya they must also ban prescription drugs, lol. Just grow the plant that make us paper and oil and anti cancer drugs already please.

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-06-27 08:22

    Rubbish statistics. There are many many more drug users, alcohol and tobacco are still the two biggest drugs, especially considering their kill count

      Squeegee - 2012-06-27 08:47

      37% of adults in SA abuse alcohol over weekends and 52% of students.

  • peterjohnjnb - 2012-06-27 09:25

    I simply cannot believe that in this day and age we are still having these discussions - the solution chaps, is really rather simple. Decriminalise druge use. Make it's cultivation legal and distribute through government channels. Virtually OVERNIGHT you would remove terrorism funding sources as well as other organised crime sources, less people will be dying from dodgy drugs and all the money that we currently spend (some estimates place this at around $ 1 TRILLION dollars a year) on drug enforcement, incarceration, victim support from the crime of drugs and and and can now be spent on areas where it is needed the most. Let's face it folks - drugs are here to stay. The war on illegal drug use and trafficking is NOT working. We are NOT winning - at least this way around, the state can recoup some of the costs involved in treating patients at hospitals etc. AND I would wager a bet on the fact that if we did this the "rebellion" factor would be removed and suddenly the overall figures of users would, I guess, drastically reduce.

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