World Drug Report 2015
Vienna, 2015 :: 162 pages
ISBN: 978-92-1-148282-9 eISBN: 978-92-1-057300-9
Full report:

The World Drug Report presents a comprehensive annual overview of the latest developments in the world’s illicit drug markets by focusing on the production, trafficking and consumption of the main types of illicit drugs, along with the related health consequences of those drugs.

Chapter 1 of the World Drug Report 2015 not only provides a global overview of the supply of and demand for opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances, as well as their impact on health, but also provides a review of the scientific evidence on approaches to preventing drug use and addresses general principles for effective responses to treatment for drug use.

Chapter 2 examines how alternative development, within the broader context of the development agenda, is aimed at breaking the vicious cycle of illicit crop cultivation by providing farmers with alternative livelihoods.

Press Release
2015 World Drug Report finds drug use stable, access to drug & HIV treatment still low
UNODC Chief calls number of drug-related deaths worldwide unacceptable; Global opium cultivation highest since the late-1930s

Vienna, 26 June 2015 – Drug use prevalence continues to be stable around the world, according to the 2015 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It is estimated that a total of 246 million people – slightly over 5 per cent of those aged 15 to 64 years worldwide – used an illicit drug in 2013. Some 27 million people are problem drug users, almost half of whom are people who inject drugs (PWID). An estimated 1.65 million of people who inject drugs were living with HIV in 2013. Men are three times more likely than women to use cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, while women are more likely to misuse prescription opioids and tranquillizers.

Speaking on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov noted that, although drug use is stable around the world, only one out of six problem drug users has access to treatment. “Women in particular appear to face barriers to treatment – while one out of three drug users globally is a woman, only one out of five drug users in treatment is a woman.” Additionally, Mr Fedotov stated that more work needed to be done to promote the importance of understanding and addressing drug dependence as a chronic health condition which, like other chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, require long-term, sustained treatment and care. “There is no quick and simple remedy for drug dependence and we need to invest in long term, medical evidence-based solutions.”

Drug use and its impact on health
A stable yet still unacceptably high number of drug users worldwide continue to lose their lives prematurely, the UNODC Chief said, with an estimated 187,100 drug-related deaths in 2013. The World Drug Report includes data – gathered jointly with UNAIDS, WHO and the World Bank – on HIV prevalence among PWID. In some countries women who inject drugs are more vulnerable to HIV infection than men and the prevalence of HIV can be higher among women who inject drugs than among their male counterparts. The number of new HIV infections among PWID declined by roughly 10 per cent between 2010 and 2013: from an estimated 110,000 to 98,000. However, the World Drug Report also indicates that many risk factors, including the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C and the incidences of drug overdoses, cause the death rate among PWID to be 15 times higher than in the rest of the population….

Alternative Development as a long-term strategy against illicit crops
The 2015 World Drug Report thematic focus is on Alternative Development, a long-term strategy aimed at developing alternative sources of income for farmers dependent on illicit drug cultivation. This activity is driven by many factors, including marginalization, the lack of security, and the social and political situations of rural communities. Alternative Development aims to reduce these vulnerabilities and ultimately eliminate the cultivation of illicit drugs. More than 40 years of experience have shown that this approach works when there is a long-term vision, adequate funding, and the political support to integrate it into a broader development and governance agenda. Marketing licit products, land tenure and the sustainable management and use of land are crucial to the long-term success of alternative development interventions.

“Unfortunately, this year’s World Drug Report also shows that widespread political support for Alternative Development has not been matched by funding,” Mr Fedotov added, as he urged for shared responsibility against illicit drugs. Funding allocated by OECD countries to support Alternative Development declined by 71 per cent between 2009 and 2013, amounting to only 0.1 per cent of global development assistance. UNODC’s Executive Director noted that in the lead up to next year’s UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem, the international community’s post-2015 Development Agenda can help to promote Alternative Development efforts, with broader interventions addressing drug supply and demand.
:: UNODC Executive Director’s statement on World Drug Day