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UN Releases 2014 World Drug Report

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On the heels of June’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the U.N. released a new World Drug Report for 2014. In a statement about the report, the U.N.’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged international support for strengthening global efforts against illicit drugs, calling the unified effort “an integral element in building a safe and sustainable future.”

The 2014 World Drug Report

Based on 2012 estimates, somewhere between 162 and 324 million people across the globe had used illicit drugs in the last year. That’s 3.5% to 7% of the world’s population (ages 15 to 64). Though the World Drug Report says that the statistics surrounding drug use and dependence have “stabilized,” it still estimates that some 16 to 39 million people still struggle with drug addiction worldwide.

The “dark net” and its role in drug use

The 2014 report describes the “dark net” as a virtual marketplace of sorts that’s contributing to global drug use. Part of its “success,” so to speak, in trafficking illicit drugs is that it is able to elude law enforcement by staying out of publicly accessible web searches.

While there are reports of networks like this still in existence, global authorities have succeeded in bringing down some of the noteworthy sites in recent months. Last October, for example, the infamous Silk Road, a site dedicated to trafficking drugs, weapons and even murder-for-hire, was dismantled after undercover FBI agents infiltrated the site and took down its head of operations.

Stable, but still struggling

In addition to those struggling with substance abuse and dependence, the report suggests that 200,000 people die annually from drug-related incidents. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) further suggests that a great deal of these deaths could be prevented, had more people had access to treatment. In June, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, declared that there needs to be a stronger focus on health. “There remain serious gaps in service provision,” he said. “In recent years, only one in six drug users globally has had access to or received drug dependence treatment services each year.”

If you need treatment for your dependence problems, or if you’re seeking help for someone you know, don’t be one of the 83% who doesn’t get the help they need.  Contact The Watershed today: 1-800-861-1768.

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