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World Drug Report 2012

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2012
112 pages
This report presents 2011 statistics and trend analysis of global drug markets, along with an overview of the characteristics, patterns, and driving factors of the contemporary drug problem.
The latest available data show no significant change in the global status regarding the use, production, and health consequences of illicit drugs, other than the return to high levels of opium production in Afghanistan after a disease of the opium poppy and crop failure in 2010. The extent of global illicit drug use remained stable in the 5 years up to and including 2010. Between 3.4 and 6.6 percent of the adult population (persons 15-64 years old) have used illicit drugs; however, 10-13 percent of drug users continue to be problem users, as defined by drug dependency and drug-related disorders and diseases. Opioids continue to be the dominant drug type that accounts for treatment demand in Asia and Europe and to some extent in Africa, North America, and Oceania. Treatment for cocaine use is prevalent mainly in the Americas, and cannabis is the main drug causing treatment demand in Africa. Demand for treatment related to the use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) is most common in Asia. Globally, the two most widely used illicit drugs remain cannabis (global annual prevalence ranging from 2.6 to 5.0 percent) and ATS, excluding "ecstasy" (0.3-1.2 percent). The global annual prevalence of both cocaine and opiates has remained stable, with ranges from 0.3-0.4 percent and 0.3-0.5 percent, respectively, of the adult population ages 15-64. Global figures for the non-medical use of prescription drugs are not available. Nevertheless, this is reportedly a growing health problem. One key development that requires monitoring is the ongoing shift of drug use away from developed to developing countries, which are relatively less able to counter it. 25 figures and appended regional groupings