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29-M people addicted to drugs – UN

VIENNA (Xinhua) – People suffering from drug use disorders increased disproportionally from 27 million to 29 million for the first time in six years in the world, according to the 2016 World Drug Report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Thursday.

The report suggests that the overall impact of drug use in terms of health consequences continues to be devastating, with around 12 million people injecting drugs and 14 per cent of them living with HIV.

The topic of this year’s report is the world drug problem and sustainable development, Yury Fedotov, executive director of UNODC, told Xinhua in an interview.

When faced with drug problem, it’s important to take sustainable development into account, he said. For instance, some farmers in remote region grow opium, to bring down the opium production, alternative crops instead of opium should be found to sustain them.

The report also highlights a strong link between poverty and several aspects of the drug problem. The strong association between social and economic disadvantage and drug use disorders can be seen when analyzing different aspects of marginalization and social exclusion, such as unemployment and low levels of education.