Hepatitis C causing "greatest harm" among millions who inject drugs

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The infectious disease Hepatitis C is causing the "greatest harm" to the estimated 12 million people worldwide who inject drugs. Photo: IRIN/Sean Kimmons

The infectious disease Hepatitis C is causing the "greatest harm" to the estimated 12 million people worldwide who inject drugs.

That's one of the findings to emerge in the World Drug Report 2017, released on Thursday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

More details from Matt Wells.

The UNODC drug report states that in 2015, around a quarter of a billion people around the world used drugs, both legally and illegally, and of these, around 29.5 million people had a drugs problem.

That means they were either engaged in problematic use, or suffered from drug-use disorders, including drug dependence.

Overall, the Opiod class of drugs—designed to produce morphine-like effects—were causing the most harm, and accounted for a staggering 70 per cent of the negative health impacts associated with drug disorders worldwide.

For the 12 million injecting drugs, Hepatitis C was still the biggest health threat, and the report indicates that more than half are living with the disease, which attacks the liver.

Around 1.6 million live with HIV, while around 1.3 million are suffering from both conditions.

UNODC Executive DirectorYuri Fedotov said that there was still "much work to be done to confront the many harms inflicted by drugs" which effect development, peace and security throughout the world.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

Filed under Today's News.
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