World Drug Report: Drug markets stable but consumption of synthetic and prescription drugs rises

Islamabad 24 June 2011.  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched its flagship publication, the World Drug Report 2011 on 23 June at United Nations Headquarters by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly; Gil Kerlikowske, Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; and Viktor Ivanov, Director of Russia's Federal Service for Drug Control. In Islamabad, the World Drug Report was launched by Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed, Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control, Major General Syed Shakeel Hussain, Director General Anti Narcotics Force and H. E. Mr. Rauf Engin Soysal, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Assistance to Pakistan, at an event attended by Government, donor and civil society representatives.

The World Drug Report highlights developments across the global drug market to explain the factors that drive the world's consumption, production and trafficking of illicit drugs. The report presents a comprehensive analysis of key drug markets, namely opium/heroin, coca/cocaine, amphetamine-type stimulants and cannabis. For each of these drug types, the report analyses trends in production, consumption, trafficking and prices.

Drug markets and drug usage patterns change rapidly, requiring measures to stop them to adapt promptly too. Thus, for the international community to be better prepared to respond to new challenges, this report is an attempt at ensuring the availability of comprehensive and up to date data.

Pakistan's geographic location makes it vulnerable to the threat of drug usage and trafficking.  Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world's opium. The fact that poppy growing Afghan provinces (Helmund, Kandahar and Nimroz) neighbour Pakistan, makes it a lucrative trafficking route for Afghan opiates. Jeremy Douglas, Representative UNODC stressed "Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to the trafficking of Afghan opiates and this poses a burden on public health, criminal justice and security systems."

Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed stated "At present, Afghanistan is producing almost 90% of the total world opium and heroin, of which almost 40% trafficked through Pakistan or over 35% of the global total. During transition, these drugs are also consumed in the local market and, therefore, are a source of increasing addiction in our country. These drugs also benefit criminal groups along drug trafficking routes. Afghan opium production has resulted in negative social, health and economic consequences for Pakistan - we are a victim country."

"The Anti Narcotics Force has is the premier law enforcement agency of Pakistan in the area of drug control and has had significant successes, including some of the largest drug and precursor seizures in the world" said Major General Syed Shakeel Hussain, Director General Anti Narcotics Force.