Drug use increased 30% in India in last decade: Report

The Indian survey was based on interviews with 5,00,000 people across the nation.
Representational Photo
Representational Photo

The United Nation's latest report on drug use revealed a 30per cent increase on 2009 with regards to the consumption of narcotics withsome 35 million people worldwide suffering from drug disorders, thanks toin-depth surveys conducted in India and Nigeria.

The UN has raised the alarm on the need for furtherinternational cooperation to deal with the health and criminal impact ofsubstance misuse, the Efe news reported."

"The findings of this'year's World Drug Report fill inand further complicate the global picture of drug challenges, underscoring theneed for broader international cooperation to advance balanced and integratedhealth and criminal justice responses to supply and de"and," YuryFedotov, Executive Director of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),said.

"With improved research and more precise data fromIndia and Nigeria, both amongst the 10 most populous countries in the world –we see that there are any more opioid users and people with drug use disordersthan previously estimated," Fedotov added.

The surveys in India in 2018 and Nigeria in 2017 haveoffered great insights into drug consumption due to being such vastdemographics for their region. India accounts for 30 per cent of the populationin Asia alone.

The Indian survey was based on interviews with 5,00,000people across the nation.

The studies have contributed to more accurate figures ofdrug use globally.

The report estimated that of the 271 million people thatused any drug, 35 million (nearly 13 per cent) suffer from a drug use disorder.

Previous records fell 4.5 million people short in theirestimates and it was the surveys conducted in both India and Nigeria thattriggered the adjustment.

The death toll also increased, with 5,85,000 people dying in2017 from drug use.

Cannabis consumption, the most widely used drug globallywith approximately 188 million users in 2016, has increased in Asia and Northand South America, whilst a spike in use of opioids was registered.

Opioids are the drugs that present the largest cause forconcern due to the severe impact on the health of users.

Also of concern is the non-medical use of painkillerTramadol produced in South Asia and trafficked primarily to Africa and theMiddle East.

Amongst the negative consequences of drug use, mental healthdisorders, HIV infection, hepatitis C and overdose are the main concerns, manyof which can lead to premature death.

Injecting drugs, mainly opioids, is deemed the mostdangerous way of consuming narcotics due to the proliferation of diseasesthrough the sharing of needles.

The rate of 15-64 year olds who inject drugs is four timeshigher in eastern and southeastern Europe and in central Asia.

According to the report, 50 per cent of those who injectdrugs live with hepatitis C.

Mortality rates overwhelmingly affect men who account for 72per cent of those who die as a result of drug use.

Sixty-eight per cent of overdose deaths in 2017 were due toopioids.

Most of the world's opioids are produced in Afghanistan(263,000 hectares of poppy seed production) with Myanmar (37,300 hectares)coming in as the second largest producer amid a decline in consumption in Asiaas the demand for synthetic drugs increased, particularly methamphetamine.

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