This booklet constitutes the fourth part of the World Drug Report 2018 and is the first of two thematic booklets focusing on specific population groups. In this booklet, the focus is on drug issues affecting young and older people.
Section A provides an overview of how the extent and patterns of drug use vary across different age groups, using examples from selected countries. Section B contains a discussion of three aspects of drug use among young people. Based on a review of the scientific literature, the section describes the wide range of patterns of drug use among young people, including the use of inhalants among street children and drug use in nightlife settings. Next, there is a discussion of the link between child and youth development and the factors that determine pathways to substance use and related problems, as well as the social and health consequences of drug use among young people. The final part of the section contains a discussion of how the lives of young people are affected by illicit crop cultivation, drug production and trafficking in drugs.
Section C is focused on older people who use drugs. It describes the increases in the extent of drug use among older people that have been observed over the past decade or so in some countries. The possible factors that might help explain those increases are briefly explored. The particular issues faced by older people with drug use disorders in relation to drug treatment and care are also discussed. Finally, information on deaths due to drug use disorders illustrates the severe health impact of drug use on older people.

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