UN: World drug abuse, deaths pretty stable over recent years

AP News
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Posted: Jun 23, 2016 8:10 AM

VIENNA (AP) — A U.N. report says that an estimated quarter of a billion people between the ages of 15 and 64 years used at least one banned drug in 2014. But that figure and the number of drug-related deaths have remained relatively steady over recent years.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime report puts drug-related fatalities at an estimated 207,400 worldwide in that age group, in a report that also notes a significant drop of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, the key provider of opium base.

The report published Thursday says overall opium production last year fell by 38 percent from the previous year to the late 1990s level of about 4,770 tons. It attributes that to a 48 percent decline in Afghanistan, "mainly as a result of poor yields."