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About 5% of world population abused drugs in recent years, says UN

About 5% of the world's population have abused drugs at least once in recent years and nearly 30 million people could be dependent on narcotics to the point of needing treatment, according to a UN report.

The annual report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime also said the United States accounts for about 25% of drug-related deaths annually and death rates there continue to rise, reaching more than 52,000 in 2015.

The report, based on the latest figures available, also noted the following:

:: Of the almost 12 million people worldwide illegally injecting drugs, 1.6 million have HIV and 6.1 million are living with hepatitis C.

:: At least twice as many men as women suffer from drug use disorders.

:: More than 100 countries reported the emergence of 739 new psychoactive substances that change brain function and result in alterations in perception and mood between 2009 and 2016.

:: Cocaine use in Europe increased by at least 30% between 2011 and 2016.

:: Global opium production increased by a third in 2016 compared with the previous year, with improved poppy yields in Afghanistan the major factor.

:: Heroin and morphine seizures were down in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, countries along the traditional Balkans route for drug smuggling over 2014-2015, but they were sharply up over the same period along the route through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and via the Black Sea to Ukraine and Romania.

AP

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