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World Drug Report 2004

image of World Drug Report 2004

An estimated 3 % of the global population, or 185 million people consume illicit drugs annually. Among this population are people from almost every country on earth and from every walk of life. In this first edition of the new two volume World Drug Report, UNODC presents more quantitative data than ever before in an effort to increase the amount of factual evidence available in a field which is so notoriously difficult to quantify. This year, the analysis of trends, some going back ten years or more, is presented in Volume 1. Detailed statistics are presented in Volume 2. Taken together these volumes will provide the most complete picture yet on today’s illicit drug situation.

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Methodology

Considerable efforts have been made over the last few years to improve all available drug related estimates. The data must still be interpreted with caution because of the clandestine nature of drug production, trafficking and abuse. Apart from the ‘hidden’ nature of the phenomenon being measured, the main problems with regard to data relate to the irregularity and incompleteness in reporting. This affects the quantity, quality and comparability of information received. First, the irregular intervals at which some Governments report may result in absence of data in some years but availability in others. The lack of regular data, for which UNODC tries to compensate by reference to other sources, can influence trend patterns. Secondly, submitted questionnaires are not always complete or sufficiently comprehensive. All figures should thus be seen as likely orders of magnitude of the drug problem, but not as precise results. It should be also noted that all figures provided, particularly those of more recent years, are subject to updating.

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