World Drug Report 2015: 250 million people used drugs in 2015
Five percent of the world’s population consumed some type of drugs in 2015, which is about 250 million people, and at least 190,000 died that year from direct narcotic-related causes, the UN reported.
The UN World Report on Drugs shows particular concern about the situation of 29.5 million people suffering from serious disorders by using substance, including drug addiction, which is the most vulnerable. Only one in six people requiring treatment for these disorders receives assistance, most in developed countries, according to a report prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The number of drug users has remained steady for five years, but those responsible for the report warn that the drug market is diversifying with the emergency of new, more potent and dangerous substances. “The health risk situation has increased because of the diversification and potency of new substances,” explained Angela Me, coordinator of the report.
The expert put as an example such as fentanyl, a powder analgesic that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and has caused numerous overdoses in United States of America in recent years.
Cannabis is the drug most consumed, with 183 million users in 2015, but opioids, including heroin, remain the most harmful and cause the most deaths.
“The risk of infectious diseases are due to the dangerous practice of injecting drug use”.
UNODC’s Executive Director , Yuri Fedotov, points out in the report that “at least 190,000 premature deaths-in most cases, preventable-are caused by drugs, mostly attributable to the consumption of opioids, this substance is associated with fatal and non-fatal overdoses.
The estimates of the report on deaths are very conservative, as the UN itself has recognized, considering that only in the United States. There were 52,400 overdose deaths in 2015.
Approximately 35 million people use opiates (poppy substances such as heroin or morphine) or opioids (analogous chemicals such as methadone).
According to the report, this group of drugs, “accounted for 70 percent of the negative health impacts associated with drug use disorders worldwide.” In a particularly risky situation there are 12 million people who inject opioids like heroin.
Of these, “one in eight (1.6 million) are living with HIV and more than half (6.1 million) with hepatitis C, while about 1.3 million suffer from both hepatitis C and HIV.”
“Overall, three times as many people die from hepatitis C (222,000) as from HIV (60,000),” the report said.
Some 250 million people used drugs in 2015 with almost 30 million engaged in “problematic” use, says UN report