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Home > Intergovernmental institutions > UNODC >  UNODC: Significant and positive changes in world drugs markets

UNODC: Significant and positive changes in world drugs markets

- Whereas a few years ago the world appeared to be heading for an epidemic of drug abuse, growing evidence suggests that the problem is being brought under control. This was the conclusion of the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, when the 2007 edition of the World Drug Report was presented in Vienna.

Dag Endal

The UNODC Executive Director said that data show that the run-away train of drug addiction has slowed down. The Report shows global markets for illicit drugs remained largely stable in 2005-06. "For almost all drugs - cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamines - there are signs of overall stability, whether we speak of production, trafficking or consumption," Mr Costa said.

Trends highlighted by the UNOCD:

  • Coca cultivation in the Andes continues to decline and global cocaine consumption has stabilised
  • The market for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) such as ecstasy has also been contained, with levels of production and abuse stable in many countries. 
  • For the first time in decades, global statistics do not show an increase in world production and consumption of cannabis.  "The much greater number of pot smokers seeking treatment shows that the new strains of high-potency cannabis make people sick, not just high," the UNODC Executive Director Costa commented
  • Opium production in Afghanistan remains a major problem: cultivation increased dramatically in 2006, offsetting remarkable successes in eliminating other sources of opium supply, especially in South-East Asia.
  • Traffickers are seeking new routes, for example through Africa. "Africa is under attack, targeted by cocaine traffickers from the West (Colombia) and heroin smugglers in the East (Afghanistan)," Mr Costa said. "This threat needs to be addressed quickly to stamp out organized crime, money-laundering and corruption, and to prevent the spread of drug use that could cause havoc across a continent already plagued by many other tragedies".

The full text of the World Drug Report 2007 can be downloaded from the UNOCD web site here. 

Here is an Executive Summary of the report.

And here is the press release from the launch at the UNODC headquarters in Vienna.



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