More than 292 million people consumed some psychoactive substance during the period; marijuana continues to be the most used

A new report from the UN (United Nations) indicates that problems arising from drug use have worsened worldwide throughout 2022, with the emergence of new synthetic opioids and an increase in demand for other psychoactive substances.

According to the most recent edition of the World Drug Report, which the organization released on Wednesday (June 26, 2024), International Day Against Drug Abuse, in 2022, more than 292 million people consumed some psychoactive substance, an increase of 20% in 10 years.

The consequence: an increase in disorders associated with use.

“Although an estimated 64 million people worldwide suffer from substance use disorders, only one in 11 people have received treatment”said those responsible for the publication, adding that women suffer more from neglect.

“Only one in 18 women with substance use disorders received treatment, compared to one in 7 men.”they said.

According to the researchers, illicit activities associated with the production and distribution of drugs contribute to environmental degradation, promoting deforestation, improper disposal of toxic waste and chemical contamination.

It is estimated that around 2,757 tons of pure cocaine alone were produced in 2022 – an increase of 20% compared to 2021.

A cannabis (marijuana) remains the most widely used drug on the planet and, according to researchers, in some countries, such as Canada and Uruguay, as well as parts of the United States, the legalization of its commercialization and consumption appears to have accelerated the harmful use of the drug and led to a diversification of products derived from the drug. cannabismany of them with a high THC content (tetrahydrocarbinol, the main component of the marijuana plant and responsible for the psychoactive effects).

After cannabiscome opioids, amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy.

The publication also cites the recent emergence of nitazenes – a group of synthetic opioids that can be even more potent than fentanyl and whose consumption has increased in high-income countries, causing a greater number of overdose deaths.

The report indicates that the growing interest in the therapeutic use of psychoactive substances and the consequent expansion of the use of these substances in clinical research and in the treatment of some mental health disorders have not yet resulted in scientific guidelines for medical use.

The full document is available, in English, on the UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) website. Click here and access the document.

With information from Brazil Agency.


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