An estimated 230 million people, or 5 per cent of the world’s adult population, used an illegal drug at least once in 2010, according to the United Nations’ World Drug Report 2012 released on Wednesday.
The report found that worldwide illegal drug use has remained generally stable over the last five years, but continues to rise in several developing countries.
One main conclusion is that the “treatment and rehabilitation of illicit drug users are more effective than punishment” and that “efforts against drug trafficking have to balanced by alternative development programs for farmers while helping drug users to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.”
Illegal drugs kill around 200,000 people a year, compared with 2.3 million alcohol-related deaths and 5.1 million tobacco deaths, according to the report.
The U.S. narcotics market is worth about $60 billion annually, according to United Nations estimates
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug with about 119 million and 224 million users worldwide
In the past four years, cocaine use has decreased in the U.S. while increasing in Australia and stabilizing in Europe
Opium use in North America and Europe is stable or shrinking while Africa and Asia account for 70 per cent of global opiate users
The use of opioids (mainly heroin, morphine and non-medical use of prescription opioids) remains dangerously high
There has been an overall decline in global manufacture of cocaine because of a major decline in cocaine manufacture in Colombia in the five-year period from 2006- 2010
Methamphetamine is a growing problem as seizures doubled from 2008-2010 with large increases in Central America and East Asia
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