Illicit drugs lead to "lives lost and needless suffering"

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Opening of the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria. Photo: UNIS Vienna

The use of illicit drugs around the world has led to the loss of life and "needless suffering," according to the chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Experts are meeting in Vienna over the next week at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to discuss how best to respond to the global challenge posed by drug use.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Globally, some 27 million people suffer from drug use disorders, including 12 million who inject illicit substances.

Almost 200,000 lose their life each year as a result of overdose and other drug-related medical conditions.

Speaking at the opening of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, said illicit drugs are a global problem.

"These include the dangers of opiate production and trafficking from Afghanistan; the fragility of regions including West and East Africa; deadly violence in Central America; the growing nexus of organized crime groups and violent extremists profiting from the illicit drug trade; and the never-ending proliferation of new psychoactive substances."

In April, the UN General Assembly is due to hold a Special Session on the World Drug Problem.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’00″

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