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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

2013 World Drug Report notes stability in use of traditional drugs and points to alarming rise in new psychoactive substances

 

Emerging drug problems

 

Marketed as ‘legal highs’ and ‘designer drugs’, NPS  [New PsychoActive Substances]

 

An arrangement of psychoactive drugs

An arrangement of psychoactive drugs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

are proliferating at an unprecedented rate and posing unforeseen public health challenges. Mr. Fedotov urged concerted action to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of these substances.

 

The number of NPS reported by Member States to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012, an increase of more than 50 per cent. For the first time, the number of NPS exceeded the total number of substances under international control (234). Since new harmful substances have been emerging with unfailing regularity on the drug scene, the international drug control system is now challenged by the speed and creativity of the NPS phenomenon.

 

This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal. Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS, which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. Street names, such as “spice”, “meow-meow” and “bath salts” mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun. Given the almost infinite scope to alter the chemical structure of NPS, new formulations are outpacing efforts to impose international control. While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market. The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood.

 

In response to the proliferation of NPS, UNODC has launched an early warning system which will allow the global community to monitor the emergence and take appropriate actions.”

 

 

Full Text Reports...

2013 World Drug Report notes stability in use of traditional drugs and points to alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
Source: United Nations

At a special high-level event of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched in Vienna the 2013 World Drug Report. The special high-level event marks the first step on the road to the 2014 high-level review by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action which will be followed, in 2016, by the UN General Assembly Special Session on the issue.

While drug challenges are emerging from new psychoactive substances (NPS), the 2013 World Drug Report (WDR) is pointing to stability in the use of traditional drugs. The WDR will be a key measuring stick in the lead up to the 2016 Review.

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July 17, 2013 - Posted by | Health Statistics, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , ,

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