U.N. Report Sees Decrease of Drug Use Worldwide

U.N. Report Sees Decrease of Drug Use Worldwide
Posted by FoM on January 22, 2001 at 15:35:02 PT
World Drug Report 2000
Cocaine and heroin abuse is diminishing worldwide, the United Nations said in a report released Monday that also targeted Afghanistan as the provider of more than 75 percent of the world's opium. Despite less cocaine and heroin use, consumption of amphetamines grew in the 1990s, particularly in Asia, with developed countries the main suppliers, according to the report published by the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. 
An estimated 180 million people worldwide -- or more than 4 percent of all people aged 15 or above -- were consuming drugs in the late 1990s, the report said. At least 134 countries and territories were faced with a drug abuse problem. But overall, the area where poppy for opium is grown has been reduced and is at its lowest level since 1988, said the report. In Islamabad, drug control officials praised Pakistan for its success in ending poppy production. "Pakistan is this year's big success story," Bernard Frahi, regional director of the United Nations Drug Control Program, told reporters in the Pakistani capital. From the crimson red poppy plant, opium is produced and made into heroin. Most of the heroin produced in this region is sold in Europe and North America. Pakistan went from a 1979 opium production level of 800 tons to a negligible amount in 2000, Frahi said. Among other positive developments in the 172-page report by the Vienna-based organization: -- Bolivia has reduced the area under illicit coca production by 78 percent since 1997. -- Authorities in Peru, where much of the world's cocaine traditionally originates, have cut illicit exports of the drug by 50 percent over the last decade. -- Laos remains the world's third largest producer of opium but has cut its output by 30 percent over the last 18 months -- Opium poppy reduction in Vietnam was reduced by 90 percent over the past decade. Afghanistan, in contrast, has been setting records for opium production. In 1999, Afghanistan produced 4,565 tones of opium -- a world record. The amount was down in 2000, in part because of a crackdown by the Taliban, the country's hard-line Muslim leaders, and in part because of a devastating drought, Frahi said. The report said the drug agency wants to phase out poppy cultivation in Afghanistan in the next five years. The most widely consumed drug worldwide remains cannabis. But heroin and cocaine are the costliest in terms of treatment and hospitalization and the narcotic to which most drug-related violence is tied. Western Europe has about 1.2 million heroin addicts; the United States about 1 million, the report said. Some 14 million people are estimated to take cocaine worldwide. The United States remains the world's largest market for cocaine and responsible for almost a third of the cocaine seizures worldwide. But the report detailed positive trends there: While cocaine remains the prime drug where treatment is needed in the United States -- about 40 percent of all cases -- cocaine abuse has declined strongly over the last decade. The report also revealed a shift in drug consumption patterns over the past decade, with a growing tendency toward use of synthetic drugs, specifically amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and particularly ecstasy. Developing countries are getting more synthetic drugs -- notably ecstasy type drugs -- produced in developed areas. Demand for such drugs has grown in Southeast and East Asia. Trafficking in ATS grew more strongly than any other drug category over the last decade. ATS seizures, excluding ecstasy, quadrupled between 1990 and 1998. In comparison, heroin or cocaine seizures rose by less than 50 percent. The North American ATS market is primarily in the United States, which accounts for 14 percent of global seizures. Still, the report said that use of the drug grew fastest in Europe, judged by a 25 percent growth in police seizures over the last decade. The latter half of the 1990s saw huge increases in trafficking of ecstasy from Europe to North America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and Asian countries. While the United States accounted for the largest ecstasy seizures last year, most of it was of European origin. Still, the most widely trafficked drug remains cannabis, the report said. Source: CNN (US Web) Published: January 22, 2001Copyright: 2001 Cable News Network, Inc. Contact: Forum: Website Feedback: Related Article & Web Site:World Drug Report 2000 - World Drug Report 2000 
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Comment #6 posted by Frank on January 23, 2001 at 17:50:02 PT
U.N. is Propagating a Lie
U.N. Report Sees Decrease of Drug Use Worldwide --- I don’t know what planet these people are on but it’s not Earth. The quality of marijuana gets better and cheaper. If the United States Government opened up its marijuana farm in the South nobody would smoke the stuff(dung)as the quality obtained from the black-market would be superior. So the U.N. can say anything it wants to; however, the street corners of America say something else. The streets corners of America say the "Drug War" is lost. 
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on January 23, 2001 at 04:34:31 PT:
"Nothing succeeds like..." failure?
You see what's happening, don't you?Ostensibly, Georgie Too's crowd is purportedly isolationistt. Many of his supporters would like nothing better than to extricate the US from the UN and tell it to get the Hell out of New York. Many UN wonks would hate that; the shopping is not so good in Geneva as it is in The Big Apple. You might recall that there is still some heat about the US not paying its' 'fair share' of the UN operating costs. The wonks at the UN are getting worried Georgie might throw a bone to his more Ashcroftian supporters and start pulling out piecemeal. So they are trying tom pre-empt this by trotting out this drivel and saying that they are 'winning' in order to keep the bucks rolling in. Yep, they have indeed taken a lot of direction from the US ONDCP; Arlacchi and McCaffrey were practically joined at the hip. If you read nothing but the public pronouncements and didn't know who was speaking, you couldn't tell who was who. And so the antis at the UN are trying the same old gambit; trumpet 'success' to keep the money flowing in...even though it's an obvious failure.Barry taught them well. Don't be surprised if he winds up working for Arlacchi, soon.
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Comment #4 posted by Bob on January 22, 2001 at 19:07:44 PT
Most Consumed Drug
Wonder where alcohol falls in here?
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Comment #3 posted by Not To Worry on January 22, 2001 at 19:03:38 PT
More Smoke and Mirrors
 Not quite, alcohol is the most widely consumed drug. As another poster has pointed out, it is hardly a safe drug. Funny how these little details get left out of the equation.
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Comment #2 posted by tim stone on January 22, 2001 at 17:00:21 PT
A quick question
How much of the information in this "international" report was actually provided to the U.N. by our friends at the ONDCP? Much to most, perhaps? And how much of that info provided by the U.S. was twisted and jiggered data designed solely to put a good face on McCaffery's exit? How gullible can one get?
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on January 22, 2001 at 15:48:04 PT:
What about Alcohol?
If this agency were concerned about the true morbidity and mortality of "drugs," they would be spending money on harm reduction with respect to alcohol, which makes other drugs pale in comparison with respect to the toll it takes. Check out a fascinating article from Ceylon in 1920 in which cannabis and alcohol are compared, and ponder which is more of a problem:Ratnam, E.V. 1920. Cannabis indica. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the British Medical Association 17:36-42.By this time in the 20th century, Cannabis was suffering a political downturn. In 1914, it was dropped from the pharmacopoeia of Ceylon (current Sri Lanka), over the vociferous objections of its adherents, such as Ratnam [Ratnam, 1920. above] and others. His points of debate included passionate defenses of its medical benefits, and poignant political arguments based on multiple facts and figures comparing its benignity to the dangers of other “recreational” drugs:"Ganja [Indian hemp preparation equivalent to modern sinsemilla], which has been used by the Indians for thousands of years, with or without moderation is not known to produce tissue degeneration as alcohol is known to produce. I defy the blind supporters of Government including the nom-de-plume corespondent of the “Independent” to come forward and state whether they have, in their practice, met with, or have heard of cases of ganja neuritis, ganja paralysis, ganja epilepsy, ganja stomatitis, ganja cirrhosis of the liver, ganja nephritits, ganja arteriosclerosis etc. We only hear of ganja insanity magnified several thousandfold by authorities whose angle of vision was wholly and inevitably swayed by prejudice and preconceived opinions. ... Man all the world over displays an instinctive liking for substances which have soothing and stimulating effect on the nervous system....The brain requires some rest or relaxation after strenuous functional activity. For children after school work the form or recreation to the nervous system is play. For adults the relaxation takes the shape of exercise, social gathering, and the use of drugs which have a stimulating and soothing effect on the nervous system....The Orientals chew [betel nuts]. The Occidentals smoke [tobacco]. The former is condemned and the latter is condoned; and the reason is the same- prejudice, that incubus which condemns Ganja smoking and condones alcohol drinking."Ultimately, Ratnam addressed a remaining clinical need for cannabis:“In some cases where there is continued pain in the head lasting for a length of time, Cannabis Indica seems to help and this may be given either in the form of extract or tincture. There is no danger in it … The long continued use of this drug will sometimes relieve these headaches when other things seems to fail.” The above authoritative statement was made by Sir T. Lander Brunton, M.D., D.Sc., L.L.D., F.R.S., Physician to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and Lecturer on Pharmacology before the British Medical Association without a dissentient voice."See, nothing has changed in 81 years. The bureaucrats still make irrational decisions contrary to logic and science.
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