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World Drug Report, 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
272 pages
This report analyses trends and emerging challenges in national and international drug and crime priorities and policies.
This report documents developments in global drug markets and explains the factors that drive them. Findings show that in 2009, between149 and 272 million people, or 3.3 percent to 6.1 percent of the population aged 15-64, used illicit substances at least once in the previous year. About half that number is estimated to have been current drug users. While the total number of illicit drug users has increased since the late 1990s, the prevalence rates have remained largely stable, as has the number of problem drug users, which is estimated at between 15 and 39 million. Cannabis is by far the most widely used illicit drug type, consumed by between 125 and 203 million people worldwide in 2009, followed by amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) (mainly methamphetamine, amphetamine and ecstasy), opioids (including opium, heroin and prescription opioids) and cocaine. While there are stable or downward trends for heroin and cocaine use in major regions of consumption, this is being offset by increases in the use of synthetic and prescription drugs. Non-medical use of prescription drugs is reportedly a growing health problem in a number of developed and developing countries. Moreover, in recent years, several new synthetic compounds have emerged in established illicit drug markets. Many of these substances are marketed as 'legal highs' and substitutes for illicit stimulant drugs such as cocaine or 'ecstasy'. Detailed analyses of individual drug statistics are provided. Tables and figures