Global Community Cracks Down on Drug Use

NEW YORK – Dangerous narcotics are gradually losing ground in the war on drugs, according to the most recent global and domestic figures.

The 2007 World Drug Report, issued by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, discovered that many countries are successfully cracking down on their drug markets. Global cultivation, production and consumption rates for most drugs are either stable or declining.

Global cocaine cultivation has dropped 29 percent since 2000. Much of the credit goes to Colombia, which managed to eradicate more than half of their coca plant cultivation, cancelling out smaller increases in Bolivia and Peru. However, better technology and larger yields have kept cocaine production stable.

Southern Afghanistan remains a hotbed for opium, responsible for 82 percent of the world’s cultivation and 92 percent of its production. While the rest of the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia has experienced massive decreases since 2000, opium production in Afghanistan rose by almost half. However, opium seizures helped keep consumption rates down.

In 2005, law enforcement seized 42 percent of all cocaine produced and 26 percent of heroin before it could reach consumers. Latin America was responsible for almost three-fifths of the cocaine seizures, with Colombia in the lead.

Other countries that experienced serious contractions include Morocco, Mexico, Laos and Myanmar.

On the home front, the University of Michigan’s annual teen survey shows that fewer adolescents are relying on narcotics to pass the time. In 2006, the number of 8th graders who reported using any illicit drug in the last year dropped by more than a third since their peak in 1996. Tenth graders dropped by 25 percent and 12th graders by 14 percent since their peaks in 1997.

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