||Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM
Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the
Organization of American States (OAS) released today in Bogota the Report on Drug Use in the Americas, 2011, the first comparative analysis of drug trends in OAS member states, covering the period of 2002-2009.
report points out that among licit drugs alcohol is the most widely
used, while among illicit drugs marijuana is most prevalent, and notes
the spread of cocaine use in Latin America and the Caribbean. It also
warns about the dangers of toxicity in cocaine base paste, a drug whose
use is relatively infrequent but with highly adverse effects on health.
scientific information, it is impossible to create good public policies
to confront the problem successfully," said Ambassador Paul Simons,
CICAD Executive Secretary.
The need for up-to-date, valid and
reliable information on drug issues is central to drafting successful
drug policies. This point is reiterated in the Hemispheric Drug
Strategy, approved by CICAD in 2010, that underscores the need for
public policies being based on scientific evidence.
important finding of the report is the realization that there is no
single drug problem in the Hemisphere," added Ambassador Simons. "The
reality that our countries live is very diverse, both regarding the type
of drugs that are used and the patterns of use. This report aims to
show the reality of each country, instead of making comparisons among
The report, which was prepared by CICAD's Inter-American
Observatory on Drugs (OID) based on the information provided by the
national observatories or equivalent agencies of the countries,
represents a strong effort by the OAS member states to improve policies
in benefit of the population.
Francisco Cumsille, OID chief,
said, "We can observe differential patterns across regions and sub
regions, as well as differences within each country, which require
specific public policies that respond to the different realities in
which our countries live."
The report points out that alcohol use
is prevalent in almost all countries. However, the countries with
greater prevalence of alcohol use are not necessarily the ones that have
high levels of risky behavior with this substance. Above all, there is a
special concern for the high prevalence of alcohol use in the school
age population (13-17 years old).
According to the report,
marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug among secondary
students of most countries, although in some countries, the use of
inhalants (chemical breathable vapors that produce psychoactive effects
-- like solvents that contain toluene -- and are freely available in the
open market) is higher than marijuana use in the same population
segment. The document also noted that some countries that have carried
out studies of the university population have observed that the use of
inhalants among women surpasses the use of marijuana in this group.
said, "The use of cocaine has spread throughout almost all of Latin
America and the Caribbean. It is no longer a drug solely exported to the
north, for instance, because about 27% of cocaine consumers in the
Hemisphere are found in South America."
Cumsille added finally,
"Regarding cocaine base paste, a drug used almost exclusively in South
America, its use is relatively low but the drug has a more detrimental
impact on health than other drugs, converting it into a problem that the
affected countries already are following closely".
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.
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