An estimated 200 000 drug-related deaths occurred in 2013, and a total of 246 million people used an illicit drug that year, according to the 2015 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The report, presented today by the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia, is a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in the world’s illicit drug markets by focusing on the production of, trafficking in and consumption of the main illicit drug types and their related health consequences.
UNODC Representative for Central Asia, Ashita Mittal, told journalists about the main findings of the 2015 World Drug Report: drug use prevalence remains stable around the world while access to drug and HIV treatment is still low.
Speaking on June 26, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said that, although drug use is stable around the world, only one out of six problem drug users, a total of 27 million worldwide, has access to treatment.
The 2015 World Drug Report thematic focus is on Alternative Development, a long-term strategy aimed at developing alternative sources of income for farmers dependent on illicit drug cultivation. The report states that, “approached holistically, alternative development has the potential to break the vicious cycle trapping poor farmers and to act as a catalyst for viable livelihoods that do not depend on illicit cultivation.”
The Director of the National Information and Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan, Ahmed Mansurov, told journalists about measures Uzbekistan has taken to counter illicit drugs. Uzbekistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan, is at major risk from the transit of narcotics. In 2014, Uzbekistan’s law enforcement seized 2, 298 kilograms of drugs. According to Mansurov, 54 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized and 193,000 drug-related crimes were revealed from 1994 to 2014. Mansurov also noted positive dynamics in the prevention and treatment of drug abuse as well as a decline in the number of drug addicts in recent years and absence of trends indicating that more young people have joined this category of people.
Mittal and Mansurov expressed hope that joint efforts will help to achieve better indicators through a holistic approach that includes countering drug trafficking and prevention and treatment of drug abuse. Local communities, mahallas, and the media have an important role to play in this approach.