According to the World Drug Report 2018 published last week by the United Nations, drug production and markets are expanding to unprecedented levels. A worldwide public health crisis is on the verge of happening as the non-medical use of prescription is increasing.

Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of UN Office on Dugs and Crimes said that cocaine and opium production hit record highs.

The report warns that cocaine and methamphetamine markets are expanding “beyond their usual regions,” darknet drug trafficking keeps growing and non-medical use of prescription drugs has become a worldwide threat to public health and law enforcement.

At the same time, more new psychoactive substances are being synthesized and made available, with an associated increase in harm and fatalities. Deaths directly caused by drug use increased by 60 % from 2000 to 2015.

Only one in six people suffering from drug use disorders are receiving treatment. Around 450,000 people died in 2015 as a result from drug use and over 160,000 of those were a direct result of drug disorders.

The UN needs to improve “international cooperation and law enforcement capacities to dismantle organized criminal groups and stop drug trafficking,” the report said.

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Click here to read the 2018 World Drug Report