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Synthetic drug use surging: Report

Jun 24, 2011

The recent World Drug Report 2011 by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNDOC) says global markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis declined or remained stable while the production and abuse of prescription opioid drugs and new synthetic drugs rose.

World Drug Report 2011

WDR2011.jpgPublished by: UNODC

Many illicit drug markets have reached global dimensions and require control strategies on a comparable scale. In that context, there is a need to better understand these transnational markets and the manner in which they operate.

The yearly World Drug Report is a contribution towards that objective. This year's edition starts with an overview of the illicit drug situation worldwide and regionally, followed by more comprehensive discussions and statistical trends for the key transnational drug markets, namely opium/heroin, coca/cocaine, amphetamine-type stimulants and cannabis.

A plant "blight" in Afghanistan, which accounts for about two thirds of the global area under opium poppy cultivation, meant that world production declined by 38% to an estimated 4,860 tons, UNODC said.

Afghanistan still accounted for 3,600 tons of opium and UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov said "Afghan opium production will probably bounce back in 2011." Opium prices have tripled in the past year, according to UN estimates.

The agency said Myanmar has reemerged as a major heroin producer.

Cultivation in Myanmar rose by 20% in 2010 and with Afghanistan's decline, its share of global opium production has risen from five percent in 2007 to 12% last year, UNODC said.

The opium market is now said to be valued at more than $68 billion a year, with consumers paying an estimated $61 billion.

In Afghanistan, one gram of heroin costs less than four dollars, but UNODC estimated that consumers in west and central Europe pay $40-$100 per gram and in the United States and northern Europe $170-$200.

Source : UNODC
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