UN: Globally, 296 Million Illicit Drug Users in 2021 — An Increase of 23% Since 2011
In its remarks on India, the study report mentioned that the abuse of opium especially in the form of heroin is of particular concern in Punjab, a state that has been strongly affected by the inflow of Afghan heroin through Pakistan. Details here.
गाँव कनेक्शन 28 Jun 2023 11:41 AM GMT
According to the annual World Drug Report 2023 published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on June 25, the number of people globally abusing drugs rose by 23 per cent to 296 million between 2011-2021.
“Among all countries that ranked the drugs leading to drug use disorders, the majority (46 per cent of countries) reported cannabis in first place, 31 per cent of countries reported opioids in first place, mainly heroin, whereas amphetamine-type stimulants, in particular methamphetamine, were reported in first place by 13 per cent of countries,” the report stated.
As per the report, the ranking in each country was determined mainly by two factors — prevalence of use and dependence potential.
The report also found that the cocaine demand and supply has also risen worldwide and methamphetamine trafficking is growing in the established markets including Afghanistan which is the main centre where the drug has been produced.
It showed that Opioids remain the leading cause of deaths in fatal overdoses. “Opioids accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the 128,000 deaths attributed to drug use disorders in 2019. Opioid use disorders also accounted for the majority (71 per cent of the 18 million healthy years of life lost owing to premature death and disability in 2019,” it added.
Opioid Abuse in India
According to the report, in 2018 alone, India had the highest prevalence of opioid use in South Asia at 2.1 per cent. The report states that the opioid use in India is mainly a male phenomenon with more than 95 per cent of all opioid users being males.
The report mentions that the rates vary widely within the country. The opioid users are among the population aged 10-75, the overall rates of opioid users range between 0.2 and 25.2 per cent.
The highest prevalence of opioid abuse is found in the eastern parts of the country meanwhile the largest number of people with opioid use disorders are found in north-western India including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and some parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
“The high level of opioid users found in Maharashtra seems to be linked to the increasing quantities of opiates being trafficked to India from South-West Asia by sea,” the report added.
Rise In Drug Use Disorders
Meanwhile, the number of people who are suffering from drug use disorders worldwide has proliferated to 39.5 million, a 45 per cent increase over 10 years, the UN report said.
The report found that an estimated 39.5 million people worldwide were suffering from drug use disorders in 2021, but only one in five people with drug use disorders received drug treatment.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the treatment gap. Of the 46 countries regularly reporting to UNODC data on people in drug treatment, about 40 per cent registered a decline in the number of people in drug treatment during the COVID health emergency as compared to previous years. Data for 2021 show further declines,” it added.