23 June 2016
UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on Thursday reported that the number of drug addicts has risen in six years, owing partly to the comeback of heroin in some Western countries.
There are now more than 29 million people with a drug problem, compared to 27 million reported one year ago, the UN agency said.
In its annual global drug report, UNODC said that consumption of heroin had risen in North America in the past decade.
“Drug seems to be undergoing resurgence in some European markets.
“Heroin is coming back,’’ UNODC’s Chief Researcher, Angela Me, said.
Global opium production dropped 38 per cent to 4,770 tons last year as opium poppy fields yielded poorer crops in parts of Afghanistan, the world’s biggest source of opiate drugs.
“It seems unlikely that the sharp decline in opium production in 2015 will lead to major shortages in the global heroin market given the high opium production levels of previous years,’’ UNODC said.
The agency warned that drug laboratories have sped up the development of new synthetic substances that are often marketed as “legal highs.’’
Authorities around the world detected 75 new substances last year, up from 66 in 2014.
There are indications that coca production has increased in the past two years, UNODC said.
It said that although global cocaine use had remained stable in the past few years, cocaine trafficking has been on the rise in East Asia and South-East Asia