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Launch World Report on Drugs 2019

Dominican Republic, July 9, 2019. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in coordination with the National Drug Council of the Dominican Republic launched the World Drug Report 2019, a document that brings together the main data and studies of trends in production, trafficking and consumption of drugs in the world.

José Vila del Castillo, regional representative for Central America and the Caribbean of the UNODC, made the presentation of the World Report on Drugs in an event that was attended by the main authorities and institutions of the country related to the subject.

The opening remarks were delivered by the president of the National Drug Council, Dr. Rafael Guerrero Peralta, who highlighted the importance of the data provided in this document for the planning of effective strategies for the prevention of the consumption and illicit trafficking of substances.

In his speech, Guerrero Peralta insisted on strengthening the preventive and corrective approach due to the evident increase in the number of deaths due to consumption and in the global production of drugs.

The Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, José Vila del Castillo stressed that the World Drug Report 2019 provides a global view of the supply and demand of opiates, cocaine , cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances, as well as their impact on health.

Vila del Castillo noted that 35 million people worldwide suffer from disorders related to the use of drugs, while only one in seven people receive treatment.

He stressed that the report estimates that the number of people using opioids is 53 million, 56% more than the previous estimates, being these responsible for two thirds of the 585,000 people who died as a result of drug use in 2017. Reveals that, worldwide, of the 11 million people who injected drugs in 2017, 1.4 million live with HIV and 5.6 million with hepatitis C, data that allow estimating that the number of people who use drugs is now a 30% higher than in 2009.

At the same time, he said that the most widely used drug worldwide is still cannabis, with an estimated 188 million people who consumed it in 2017, while fentanyl and its analogs remain the key problem of the opioid crisis. Synthetics in North America; and tramadol in the west, center and north of Africa, with an increase in seizures of less than 10 kilograms in 2010 to 125 tonnes in 2017.

He also said that the report shows that effective treatment interventions based on scientific evidence and in line with international human rights obligations are not as available or accessible, and he called on national governments and the international community to intensify the interventions to reduce this gap.

José Vila del Castillo took advantage of the stage to highlight the work done by the Dominican Republic, through the National Council of Drugs to say that "the country is an example of prevention of drug use and treatment and this is thanks to having an organization well articulated and better coordinated, where its managers, Rafael Guerrero Peralta and the people who accompany him, have an absolute commitment to the problem. "

The expert added that, in a meeting held with the ambassadors of the European Union and the United States, they agree with the UNODC in saying that the results of the programs being implemented by the Drug Council are spectacular.

The Regional Representative highlighted the work done by the Dominican Republic, through the National Council of Drugs: "The country is an example of prevention of drug use and treatment and this is thanks to the fact that they have a well-coordinated and better coordinated body, where their managers, Rafael Guerrero Peralta and the people who accompany him, have an absolute commitment to the problem. " The expert added that, in a meeting held with the ambassadors of the European Union and the United States, they agree with the UNODC in saying that the results of the programs being implemented by the Drug Council are spectacular.

The World Drug Report is a global resource for health and criminal justice responses to drugs. According to this publication, 70% of the coca cultivation area in 2017 corresponded to Colombia, 20% to Peru and 10% to the Plurinational State of Bolivia. An increase in the cultivation of coca and, therefore, in the manufacture of cocaine, was reported by the three Andean countries in 2017. The overall manufacture of cocaine in the three Andean countries increased by 25% compared to the previous year, while doubled in the period 2013 - 2017.

The Report also notes that in North America, the non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids, particularly fentanyl (and its analogues) has reached epidemic proportions with historical increases in the number of deaths from overdoses. In 2017, some 72,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States, the highest number ever recorded. This was largely due to deaths associated with pharmaceutical opioids (more than 47,000 deaths from opioid overdoses), especially fentanyl and its analogues.