Public Health

Report shows increased use of new psychoactive drugs in the world

Study shows increase in emergency room visits and calls to toxicology centers due to substances

A report launched on Tuesday (5), the Board International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) by region shows the situation of legal and illegal drugs in various parts of the world. The material, which corresponds to the year 2012, will help the organization to fulfill its role of contributing to the implementation of international conventions of the United Nations drug control.

Globally, the study shows an increase in emergency room admissions and links for toxicology centers as a result of new psychoactive substances. Among them, many legal drugs and so-called designer drugs - drugs whose chemical formulas are slightly altered to avoid framing them as illegal substance, but keep your active principle.

There, according to the INCB, hundreds of designer drugs being sold on the internet with ease. The trend is that this type of drug grow steadily. The INCB reports that these substances pose a threat to public health and that joint action is needed to prevent countries from its manufacture, trafficking and use.

Although, in recent years, illicit drug use has stabilized in Europe, it still remains at a level considered high and challenge the continent's consumption of new psychoactive substances. The number of sites that sell these drugs to EU countries increased more than four times in two years. The INCB has recorded 690 such sites in January 2012.

These substances pose a threat to public health and that joint action is needed to prevent countries from its manufacture, trafficking and use

According to the report, the total area under coca cultivation in South America decreased in 2011 compared with the previous year. However, the INCB believes a concern the fact that the major marijuana seizures indicate a significant increase in the production of cannabis in the region.

Central America and the Caribbean are still large areas of transit for trafficking cocaine from South America towards North America, which remains the largest illicit drug market in the world and has the highest rates of deaths related to it. There, approximately one in 20 deaths of people between 15 and 64 years is related to drugs.

<b> Menace </ b>

Drug trafficking has, according to the report, destabilizing effect on regional security in the areas under their influence. This is the case of Mexico, where more than 60 000 people have been killed since 2006 as a result of violence related to them.

Marijuana remained the drug most widely cultivated, trafficked and used in Africa, but amphetamine-type stimulants are considered by the INCB as the newest threat in the region. The report also notes an increase in cocaine abuse in West Africa. In recent years, the region became the route for narcotics, especially cocaine coming from South America to Europe.

According to the INCB, Southeast Asia is a hub for the illicit manufacture of stimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine. The region accounted for almost half of this type of drug seizures made across the globe.

Along with the eastern continent, this is the second largest area of ​​cultivation of opium poppy, with a fifth of all global production, second only to West Asia. The largest producer remains Afghanistan. The seizure of illicit stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine increased 20 times between 2001 and 2010 in Western Asia.