Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Drugs, Drugs and Drugs

I seem to be thinking about drugs. No not about taking them, it just seems that everywhere I go I am reminded about Dundee and drugs. Yesterday morning on the way into work I was listening to the car radio and there was a programme about drugs on Radio Scotland. A couple of people from Dundee phoned in. One being a woman who must sit on some sort of drugs forum as a lay member. She was criticising glossy documents and actions plans published by the Government as being a lot of hot air (true) and that the bottom line is that nothing ever changes and all the time the drugs problem is getting worse and worse and worse (also true). Next on was some guy who described "junkies" as "parasites". I didn't hear the rest of his phone-in as I had parked the car by then but he was conveying what is a very typical public view of drug users and one that I think my daughter has cottoned onto albeit she is only 11.

At lunchtime today the city centre was populated by swathes of doddering, loud, young men and women with grey skin and bleary eyes as a result of malnutrition and over nutrition respectively.

It turns out that this programme on Radio Scotland falls on the back of a World Drug Report 2010 by the United Nations:

The World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the "annual prevalence of cocaine use" among the adult population in Scotland was 3.7% in 2005 and 2009.

In England it was 3.0% last year and 2.4% in 2008 and in Spain it was 3.0% in 2008.

The report said: "The world's second largest flow of cocaine is directed towards Europe, and this flow has been growing rapidly.

"The largest national cocaine market within Europe is the United Kingdom, followed by Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Cocaine use prevalence levels are higher in the United Kingdom and Spain than in the United States.

"Recent data suggest that the rapid growth of the European cocaine market is beginning to level off in some of the biggest national markets such as Italy, Spain and Germany.

"Consumption is still growing in the United Kingdom and in some of the smaller European markets, however."

North America is the largest regional cocaine market, with close to 40% of the global cocaine-using population, with the report stating: "In 2008, it appears that 196 metric tons of pure cocaine were required to satisfy North American demand."

The report, which was released on Thursday, also said the global area under opium poppy cultivation declined to 181,400 hectares in 2009 or by 23% since 2007.

The global area under coca cultivation declined from 167,600 hectares in 2008 to 158,800 hectares in 2009, or by 13% since 2007 or by 28% since 2000.

The estimated global cocaine production fell from 1,024 metric tons in 2007 to 865 metric tons in 2008.

Globally, UNODC estimated that between 155 and 250 million people, aged 15 to 64, used illicit substances at least once in 2008 and cannabis users made up the largest number of illicit drug users at 129 to 190 million people.


Post a Comment