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Author Topic: Illicit drug markets expanding, compounding global crises: UN  (Read 5249 times)

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Illicit drug markets expanding, compounding global crises: UN
« on: September 08, 2023, 01:19:42 AM »
source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/illicit-drug-markets-expanding-compounding-global-crises-un-90243

Illicit drug markets expanding, compounding global crises: UN

26 June 2023

New estimates of people who inject drugs are higher than previously estimated as treatment services and other interventions fall short, including for record numbers of displaced people due to humanitarian crises, according to a report by the United Nations.

The World Drug Report 2023 was launched by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on June 26, 2023. “Cheap and easy” synthetics are changing drug markets with lethal results. Drug trafficking is accelerating environmental devastation and crime in the Amazon Basin as well, the analysis said.

Ongoing record illicit drug supplies and growing trafficking networks are compounding intersecting global crises and challenging health services and law enforcement responses, the report said.

The analysis comes at a time countries are struggling at the halfway point to revive stalled progress towards achieving the UN-mandated sustainable development goals.

The harms caused by drug trafficking and illicit drug economies are contributing to and compounding threats like crises and conflicts around the world, from instability and violence to environmental devastation.

UNODC called for greater monitoring of public health impacts amidst rapid regulatory changes and clinical trials with psychedelics.

New data puts the global estimate of people who inject drugs in 2021 at 13.2 million, 18 per cent higher than previously estimated. Globally, over 296 million people used drugs in 2021, an increase of 23 per cent over the previous decade, the report said.

The number of people who suffer from drug use disorders, meanwhile, has skyrocketed to 39.5 million, a 45 per cent increase over 10 years.

Social and economic inequalities drive — and are driven by — drug challenges, the report further highlighted, reporting the environmental devastation and human rights abuses caused by illicit drug economies and the rising dominance of synthetic drugs. 

Fewer than 20 per cent of people with drug use disorders are in treatment and access is highly unequal, the UNODC said. Women account for almost half the people who use amphetamine-type stimulants, but only 27 per cent of those receiving treatment.

The demand for treating drug-related disorders remains largely unmet, according to the report. Only one in five people suffering from drug-related disorders were in treatment for drug use in 2021, with widening disparities in access to treatment across regions.

Youth populations are the most vulnerable to using drugs and are also more severely affected by substance use disorder in several regions. In Africa, 70 per cent of people in treatment are under the age of 35.

Public health, prevention, and access to treatment services must be prioritised worldwide, the report argues, or drug challenges will leave more people behind.
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