The United Nations 2011 World Drug Report says that the U.S. market for cocaine remains the largest in the world, but has experienced “massive declines in recent years,” according to the U.S. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. While global markets for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana declined or remained stable, the production and abuse of prescription opiod drugs and new synthetic drugs rose, the report said.
Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said the U.S. “is engaged in an unprecedented effort” on drug abuse prevention, expanding access to treatment, and supporting enforcement efforts that disrupt drug trafficking. The AFP news service said the U.N. report noted that a plant disease devastated Afghan opium production last year but Myanmar is seeing a worrying drug boom. With the cocaine market in decline, Peru is on a par with Colombia as the world’s top coca producer. The report expressed concern about a surge of “synthetic” drugs from Southeast Asia. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the report 2011 painted a “sobering picture of the threat posed by illegal drugs,” with 200,000 people dying each year from illegal drug use, which remains a major financier of terrorism.