The World Drug Report 2018 is released in Tashkent
Today, the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia conducted a presentation of the World Drug Report, which is published annually on June 26, the day that marks the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The World Drug Report is an overview of recent developments in the global markets for production and consumption of opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as their impact on human health. The report examines the vulnerabilities of different age and gender groups, as well as new trends in the global narcotic drug markets.
Before the presentation of the report, the Statement of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, and UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yuri Fedotov, were read out on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Then, Ms. Ashita Mittal, the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, presented global and regional indicators of narcotic drugs situation, including Central Asia. According to the data, the number of people who used drugs at least once during the year amounted to approximately 275 million people last year, which is approximately 5.6% of the world's population aged 15 to 64 years. Narcotics of Afghan origin pose the greatest threat to the Central Asian states, as opium production in Afghanistan reached 9,000 tons in 2017, which is the highest in the last 24 years. In this regard, there are risks of increased smuggling of heroin and opium through the countries of Central Asia bordering on the northern provinces of Afghanistan, where there has been a significant increase in opium cultivation areas over the past five years. The dynamic development of the global illicit synthetic drugs market also has an impact on the penetration and expansion of varieties of NPS in the region. The risk of drug use and the associated negative consequences are highest among adolescents, compared with those in older age groups. She also noted that between 2013 and 2015, the number of drug-related deaths increased by 60% worldwide.
Ms. Mittal also briefed about the results of UNODC's cooperation with the Uzbek Government in combating illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and terrorism.
In his report, Mr. Azizbek Erkabaev, the head of the International Department of the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, presented data on the situation in combatting drug trafficking and countermeasures taken by the Government of Uzbekistan. Other speakers provided information on the work being done in the field of public education, public health and law enforcement to prevent and combat the spread and use of drugs.