UN releases 2014 United Nations World Drug Report

junho 30, 2014

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Drug use in the world is stable, according to the World Drug Report 2014 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released recently. About 243 million people, or 5% of the global population between 15 and 64 years old, used illicit drugs in 2012. Problematic drug users, on the other hand, amounted to 27 million, about 0.6% of the adult population worldwide, or 1 in every 200 people.

2014 United Nations World Drug Report (UN)

The report was released in Vienna (Austria) on June 26, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The head of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, drew attention to the need for greater focus on health and human rights of all drug users.

The UNODC estimates that, worldwide, in 2012 (the period in which the study was conducted), between 162 and 324 million people aged 15-64 years consumed at least once illegal drug, particularly marijuana, opiates, cocaine amphetamines or stimulants. Approximately 180,000 people died in the same period in events related to the use of these substances. The number of dependents is 27 million people, 0.6% of the adult population, which means that for every 200 people, at least one is dependent.


Although use worldwide has remained stable, the report also shows that the consumption and trafficking of cocaine increased in South America, particularly in Brazil. This increase occurred despite lower global availability of the drug, with the decrease in the production from 2007 to 2012. In North America, consumption has been declining since 2006, but remains high. While the use and trafficking of cocaine seem to grow in South America, Africa has witnessed an increase in cocaine use due to growth in traffic across the continent, while the increase in purchasing power has made some Asian countries more vulnerable to cocaine use.

“Brazil has approximately half the population of South America; which makes the country vulnerable to trafficking (due to its strategic position in relation to Europe) and cocaine use, due to its large urban population “, the report said.

Check out the map with data about cocaine use.


The World Drug Report also shows Brazil as one of the largest consumer markets in the world of marijuana.

Globally, cannabis use seems to be decreasing, but the perception of lower health risks led to higher consumption in North America. Although it is too early to understand the effects of new regulatory frameworks on recreational use of cannabis in some U.S. states and in Uruguay under certain conditions, a greater number of people is seeking for treatment for cannabis-related disorders in most regions of the world, including North America. The report states that it is too early to understand the impact that these regulatory changes will have on the use of marijuana, both as it relates to health, justice, and public spending. “It can take years of careful monitoring to understand the effects caused by these changes so that they can guide new policies and future decisions”.

Check out the map with data about marijuana use.

Sintetic drugs

In the U.S., Oceania, Europe and Asia, increased the number of consumers of “synthetic opiates”, with lower prices and greater availability. The institution also notes that the globalization of the chemical trade facilitated the diversion of chemicals for the illicit manufacture of drugs.

Despite the difficulty of quantifying the global production of metanphetamines and stimulants, the number of dismantled laboratories continues to increase, and this increase was significant in Mexico and also in the United States, while Asia is emerging as a new market. The continent, along with Europe, concentrated about 80% of seizures of “ecstasy” made ​​worldwide in 2012. Seizures of methamphetamine more than doubled globally between 2010 and 2012.

The report also mentions the proliferation of new psychoactive substances as a challenge. In December 2013, there were 348, against 251 cataloged in July 2012. The internationally controlled substances are 234. The number of new psychoactive substances not regulated in the global market more than doubled between 2009 and 2013.


O relatório cita ainda a proliferação de novas substâncias psicoativas como um desafio: em dezembro de 2013, eram 348, contra 251 catalogadas em julho de 2012. As substâncias controladas internacionalmente são 234. O número de novas substâncias psicoativas não reguladas no mercado global mais que dobrou entre 2009 e 2013.

Check out the map with data about sintetic drugs use.


In Europe, the economic crisis seems to have influenced consumption, according to the report. A greater number of people began to use stronger drugs while in treatments available for users decreased.

United Nations also warns of the growing drug trade over the internet. The market continues to increase and is hard to be fought, since the identity of the owners and users of the websites is hidden thanks to elaborate methods of digital deception.

A ONU alerta ainda par ao aumento da área cultivada de ópio no Afeganistão, que aumentou 36%, alcançando 209 mil hectares em 2012. E cita como retrocessos o aumento da violência associada ao tráfico, e a instabilidade que ele ocasiona em muitas regiões, incluindo o oeste e leste da África, áreas já vulneráveis que vivenciaram aumentos tanto na produção como no consumo de drogas.

Para ler o relatório na íntegra, acesse este link.

(Author: Renata Rodrigues / Image: UN)