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Global Illicit Drug Trends 1999

image of Global Illicit Drug Trends 1999

While the supply side dimensions of the international drug problem have been recognized for decades, the demand side has traditionally been considered a domestic issue, not conducive to international assessment. The present report, based on data obtained primarily from the annual reports questionnaires (ARQ) received by UNDCP up to February 1999, presents not only the supply side data but also the demand side data, in an effort to give a balanced approach in the assessment of the drug problem. In addressing the global trends in illicit drug supply and trafficking, the report discusses cultivation, manufacture, trafficking routes, methods of transportation and seizures. On the demand side, the report focuses on global trends, the extent of drug abuse, drug abuse among youth and prison populations, modes of intake and costs and the consequences of drug abuse. Comprehensive statistical tables, presented for multiple years, will greatly facilitate comparative studies.

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Global trends

206. The identification of global drug abuse trends based on systematically undertaken nationwide epidemiological surveys is, for the time being not possible. As noted in the introduction, many countries do not have comprehensive monitoring systems in place. Existing national monitoring system are not directly comparable as they are frequently based on different indicators whose definition, in addition, may vary from country to country (e.g. definitions of drug related deaths and treatment cases, types of drug-use: annual, life-time, monthly drug use, frequent drug use, problem drug use etc.), or results may be strongly influenced by particular national decisions concerning provision of treatment places, or enforcement policy. All of this makes direct comparisons based on changes in quantitative indicators difficult and easily misleading.

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