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About 271 million people around the world used cannabis, cocaine, opium and synthetic drugs in 2017, 35 million people needed medical assistance due to drug addiction, said World Report on Drugs - 2019 report distributed on Wednesday, prepared by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

According to UN experts, "in 2017, an estimated 271 million people, or 5,5 per cent of the global population aged 15-64, had used drugs in the previous year. While this is similar to the 2016 estimate, a longer-term view reveals that the number of people who use drugs is now 30 per cent higher than it was in 2009. Although that increase was in part due to a 10 per cent growth in the global population aged 15-64, data now shows a higher prevalence of the use of opioids in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America and the use of cannabis in North America, South America and Asia compared with 2009.”

In 2017, cocaine production increased by a quarter - a total of 1976 tons were manufactured. Colombia remains the main center for its manufacture, accounting for 70% of the production of this drug. As noted, the bulk of cocaine from Latin America is shipped to North America and the countries of Western and Central Europe. The heroin threat still emanates from Afghanistan. This drug comes to Europe mainly through the countries of the Balkan region.

June 26 is International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. It was approved by a resolution of the UN General Assembly, adopted on December 7, 1987 on the basis of the recommendation of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Vienna.

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