UN body calls for investment to tackle drug abuse problemListen /
Governments can save money by investing in prevention and treatment of drug abuse, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
The report has been published by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent UN body monitoring the production and consumption of narcotics worldwide.
It estimates that every dollar spent on prevention of drug abuse can save the government up to ten dollars in later costs.
According to the INCB report, only one in six drug users receives the treatment he or she needs at a cost of $35 billion per year to fight addictions to heroin, cannabis or cocaine.
The report also warns about the abuse of prescription drugs which it says in some countries exceeds the rates of illicit drug abuse.
It says one way to tackle this abuse is by addressing the root causes of excessive supply through what is called "doctor shopping" which involves visiting numerous doctors to fraudulently get prescription.
The report says there is also an increase in the use of psychoactive substances known as "legal highs" which can be easily obtained over the Internet with names such as "bath salts" or "plant food".
The World Health Organization is expected to review 20 new such psychoactive substances at its next meeting in June.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.