UN’s 2011 World Drug Report as Confirmation of Urgent Need for Heightened Drug Rehabilitation and Education Efforts
Newly released United Nations report warns that the network of drug cartels now reaches into every corner of the planet and that corruption, addiction and death accompanies drug trafficking wherever it goes.
Every year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime releases a comprehensive report on drug abuse and trafficking around the planet. Huge sums of money can be used to generate corruption and cooperation, and so grease the wheels that move cocaine from South America to North America or to West Africa and on to Europe. Or that move heroin out of Afghanistan into Russia and Europe.
Numbers of Drug Abusers on the Rise
Even the U.N. with all their resources has a hard time pinning down the number of drug abusers in the world. They estimate between 149 and 272 million people use an illicit drug annually, with half that number being current users. That’s a lot of customers for the cartels. In the U.S., the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates the number of current drug users at just under 22 million. This 22 million or so was composed of:
Drug Rehabilitation Stats:
• An estimated 16.7 million marijuana users
• Approximately 1.6 million cocaine users
• Close to three-quarters of a million hallucinogen users
• A half million methamphetamine users and half million Ecstasy users
More Money Made from Legal Drugs
Decreases in some areas, particularly cocaine use, were compensated for by increases in prescription drug abuse which was estimated at about 7 million people, or 2.8 percent of the population aged 12 or older. This report further estimated that in the US alone, 22.5 million people can be categorized as dependent on or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Very few of those who need drug rehab actually manage to get it.With so much money at stake in their markets around the world, it’s unlikely that the international drug cartels are going to let up on the pressure to distribute their illicit drugs any time soon. That means that these figures are not going to drop, if the cartels have anything to say about it.
Do Drug Rehabilitation Programs Work?
According to this report, illicit drug abuse is stealing the lives of 200,000 people worldwide each year. We can make a difference when we insist on drug rehab for those who are addicted and effective drug education and prevention for those not yet trapped. Until we enable people to fully overcome addiction and until the young are educated on the dangers of drugs sufficiently to keep them from starting to use them, the drug cartels are going to keep the power and wealth that is generated at the cost of millions of addicted Americans and tens of thousands of deaths.
Taking back American lives from the international cartels can begin with helping one person get started on a drug rehabilitation program they need to kick drugs or alcohol out of his or her life, the important thing is to get help now.