UN Report Finds Abuse of Prescription Opioids and Synthetic Drugs on the Rise Globally
A new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) finds that the abuse of prescription opioids and synthetic drugs are on the rise globally, while worldwide markets for cocaine, heroin and marijuana have declined or remained stable. The World Drug Report 2011 found the U.S. market for cocaine has experienced massive declines in recent years.
“The global drug threat has not diminished,” Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, said in a UN news release. The report found that drug consumption results in about 200,000 deaths worldwide each year.
According to the report, despite significant declines in recent years, the largest cocaine market continues to be that of the United States, with an estimated 36 percent of global consumption.
Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a news release, “Today’s report confirms that comprehensive efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences have a tremendous impact on making our communities healthier and safer. Confronting the global drug problem – including the prescription drug abuse epidemic – is a shared responsibility that requires a sustained and comprehensive approach. It is not a job for law enforcement alone. That is why the United States is engaged in an unprecedented effort to emphasize drug prevention and expand access to treatment to supporting enforcement efforts that disrupt drug trafficking.”