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World drug report


Discussions about the problems of drug abuse are often characterised more by feelings and beliefs than by facts. Facts are really important. For instance, the global production of opium in 1999 amounted to just under 6,000 tonnes, and global heroin seizures amounted to 30 tonnes: that is equivalent to 30 billion 10 mg doses of heroin, and that's just the amount seized by the authorities. Cocaine seizures in 1997/8 amounted to about 400 tonnes.

The report of the UN office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention is a must read document [1]. Although it is 180 pages long it is downloadable from the Internet (though at 16 Mbytes it might take some time). It covers production, trafficking and consumption, and epidemiology, prevention and treatment, and much else. The accumulation of many facts about drug abuse in one place is remarkable, and the information contained in it amazingly detailed.An important document, and all of us should thank the governments of Italy and Sweden for paying for it.

World Drug Report 2000. Oxford University Press , Oxford, 2000 ( www.undcp.org/world_drug_report.html ) ISBN 92-1-101027-6.
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