5By Salma Hamida Sahnoun, Intern, SNDatUN: In 2017, an estimated 271 million people, or 5.5 percent of the global population aged 15-64, had used drugs in the previous year. In 2019,  35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders. The above statistics are taken from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). To raise awareness on the urgency of the issue, the UNODC launched the  2019 World Drug Report on June 26.  The World Drug Report is a yearly publication that presents an assessment of the global drug problems, with a focus on the illicit drug situation. It also provides information on trends in the production, trafficking, and use of hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, cannabis, and amphetamines. The report is based on data collected and prepared by Governments, the UNODC, and other international institutions that attempt to identify trends in the evolution of global illicit drug markets. Through the World Drug Report, UNODC aims to enhance Member States’ understanding of illegal global drug trends and increase awareness on the need for a more systematic collection and reporting of data relating to illicit drugs.

According to the report, only 2 in 10 people who need drug addiction treatment receive 2it, and over 70,000 people died from a drug overdose in 2017. This is unacceptable, especially when there are effective treatments for addiction. To deal with the issue of drug addiction society needs to put an end to the culture of stigmatization of drug addicts. Much of the stigma of addiction borders around the presumption that drug abuse is a moral failing, and that using the drug is an issue of free will. But, current scientific evidence shows that addiction is similar to other chronic illnesses. Addiction is a medical issue with both mental and physical manifestations, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. So why can we treat cardiovascular problems, but we cannot treat addiction?

Read more:

2019 World Drug Report: https://wdr.unodc.org/wdr2019/


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