UNODC launches World Drug Report 2016
23 June 2016
The report comes soon after April’s United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, which resulted in adoption of the final document containing operational recommendations that countries could adopt to reduce the impact of drugs.
The World Drug Report 2016 provides a comprehensive overview of major developments in drug markets, trafficking routes and the health impact of drug use, and supports comprehensive, balanced and integrated rights-based approach to drug problem.
This year’s report offers insight into the wide-ranging impact of drugs not only on the health and well-being of individuals, but also on the people around them — families and communities. This can include such harms as HIV, as well as the threat of violence, faced in particular by women and children. The Report shows that around 250 million people aged between 15 and 64 used at least one drug in 2014, a number that has remained stable for the past four years.
The report also flags the alarming rise in heroin use in some regions. While the challenges posed by new psychoactive substances remain a serious concern, heroin continues to be the drug that kills the most people. As over 29 million people who use drugs are estimated to suffer from drug use disorders, and of those, 12 million are people who inject drugs (PWID), of whom 14.0 per cent are living with HIV, the impact of drug use in terms of its consequences on health continues to be devastating. One in seven PWID is living with HIV, and one in two with hepatitis C.
Overdose deaths contribute to between roughly a third and a half of all drug-related deaths, which are attributable in most cases to opioids.
The Report highlights that in many countries, prisons remain a high-risk environment for infectious diseases, which is a significant concern for prison health .Also, there are significant gaps in prevention and treatment services in many prisons around the world.
Cannabis remains the most commonly used drug at the global level, with an estimated 183 million people having used the drug in 2014, while amphetamines remain the second most commonly used drug.
The NPS market continues to be characterized by the large number of new substances being reported. Although data collection for 2015 is still in progress, 75 new substances have been reported to UNODC for the first time, compared with a total of only 66 new substances reported in 2014.
The report looks at issues of gender, marginalization, stigmatization, violence and human rights, and considers how counter-narcotics strategies can be sensitive to environmental concerns such as deforestation and pollution. It examines the use of the “dark net” and new technologies for drug trafficking, as well as the potential of illicit drug profits to fund terrorism and violent extremism.
Moreover, the 2016 report’s thematic chapter focuses on the mechanisms of the interaction between drugs and development and the importance of “development-sensitive” drug control policies, taking into account all aspects of sustainable development through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In analysing these linkages the SDGs have been divided in five broad areas: social development; economic development; environmental sustainability; peaceful, just and inclusive societies; and partnerships.
Full Report available here.
Also see interactive map which shows available data on use of drugs in 2014 (or latest year available)