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243 million people use drugs worldwide: UN

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ISLAMABAD: Around the world 243 million people have used drugs, according to a new UN report.

About 200,000 drug users died in 2012, said Yuri Fedotov, director-general of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Thursday in Vienna.

“In recent years only one in six drug users globally has had access to or received drug dependence treatment services each year” Fedotov said.

The UN official said international cooperation is required for success in drug control.

In 2012, 5 percent of the world’s population aged 15-64 used drugs, thereport said.

According to the 2014 World Drug Report, drug users in the U.S., Oceaniaand some European and Asian countries are switching from heroin to pharmaceutical opioids due to their low prices and accessibility. Synthetic opioid use also increased in some European countries, the report said.

Cocaine production and its global accessibility decreased from 2007 to 2012 and cocaine use in North Korea has decreased since 2006, though its use remained high in there, the report said.

Cannabis use again increased in North Korea due to its lower health risks,according to the report.

drugAround the World, 114 tons of amphetamine-type stimulants were seized, halfof which was intercepted in North America, and a quarter in South-East Asiancountries, the report said.

According to the report, 15 percent of acetic anhydride, which used to produce heroin, and 15 percent of potassium permanganate, which is used toproduce cocaine, were intercepted between 2007 and 2012.

LSD and ecstasy use has decreased considerably in recent years due to precursor control, according to the report

The report said, Afghanistan has up to 80 percent of global opium production with a crop yield of 5,500 tons, and increased its opium cultivation areas from 154,000 hectares in 2012 to 209,000 hectares in 2013.

The Protocol that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 offers practical help to states with drafting laws, creating comprehensive national anti-trafficking strategies, and assisting with resources to implement them. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is responsible for implementing the Protocol.

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