World Drug Report 2005

image of World Drug Report 2005

The World Drug Report 2005 provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of illicit drug trends at the international level. In addition, this year it presents the work of UNODC in two new areas of research: an estimate of the financial value of the world drug market, and the preliminary steps towards the creation of an illicit drug index. The analysis of trends, some going back 10 years or more, is presented in Volume 1. Detailed statistics are presented in Volume 2. Taken together these volumes provide the most up to date view of today’s illicit drug situation.

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Estimating the value of illicit drug markets

The illicit drug industry operates outside the law. Its ‘companies’ are not listed on any stock exchange, they are not valued by any private accounting firm, and the dynamics of the drug industry are not regularly pored over by analysts, economists and forecasters. Yet the overall size of the illicit drug industry is known to be large and, therefore, a potential threat to a number of economies in terms of the financial power generated. The funds generated can be used to intimidate (including by means of violence) or corrupt government officials or, in some cases, political systems as a whole, as well as to crowd out licit economic activities, thus jeopardizing a country’s future. If the illicit drug industry is to be successfully controlled, there is a need to come to an understanding of the likely amount of money involved and where these funds are being generated.

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