ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - 20th july, 2016) : Around 5 per cent of adult population in the world or nearly 250 million people between ages of 15 and 64 used at least one drug in 2014 while drug-related mortality remained stable with around 207,000 deaths. This figure, although substantial, has not grown over past four years in proportion to global population. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which launched a World Drug Report-2016 here on Wednesday suggested that number of people classified as suffering from drug-use disorders has increased disproportionally for first time in six years.
There are now over 29 million people within this category (compared to previous figure of 27 million). Additionally, around 12 million people inject drugs with 14 per cent of these living with HIV. The overall impact of drug use in terms of health consequences continues to be devastating. This report comes soon after April's UN General Assembly special session on world drug problem (UNGASS), a landmark moment in global drug policy which resulted in a series of concrete operational recommendations.
Collectively, these look to promote long-term, sustainable, development-oriented and balanced drug control policies and programmes. UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov has noted it is critical that international community come together to ensure commitments adopted at UNGASS are met. By providing a comprehensive overview of major developments in drug markets, trafficking routes and health impact of drug use, the World Drug Report 2016 highlighted support for comprehensive, balanced and integrated rights-based approaches as reflected in outcome document which emerged from the UNGASS.
With regard to drug use and its health consequences, the report revealed drug-related mortality has remained stable around the world and in 2014, there were still around 207,000 deaths reported. Heroin use, and related overdose deaths, appear to have increased sharply over last two years in some countries in North America and Western and Central Europe. Underlining significance of this, Mr. Fedotov noted that while challenges posed by new psychoactive substances remain a serious concern, "heroin continues to be drug that kills the most people and this resurgence must be addressed urgently.
By analyzing trends over several years, the report showed that with changing social norms towards cannabis - predominantly in west - cannabis use has climbed in parallel with higher acceptability towards the drug. In many regions, more people have entered treatment for cannabis use disorders over the past decade.