"In July 2017, police forces from several countries worked together to take down the largest drug-trading platform on the darknet, the part of the “deep web” containing information that is only accessible using special web browsers. Before it was closed, AlphaBay had featured more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and chemicals. It had had over 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors during its existence. The authorities also succeeded in taking down the trading platform Hansa, described as the third largest criminal marketplace on the dark web.
"Some of the most adverse health consequences of drug use are experienced by PWID. A global review of services aimed at reducing adverse health consequences among PWID has suggested that only 79 countries have implemented both needle and syringe programmes and opioid substitution therapy. Only four countries were classified as having high levels of coverage of both of those types of interventions.
"The joint UNODC/WHO/UNAIDS/World Bank estimate for the number of people who inject drugs (PWID) for 2014 is 11.7 million (range: from 8.4 to 19.0 million), or 0.25 per cent (range: 0.18-0.40 per cent) of the population aged 15-64.
"By contrast, in the European Union much of the corruption reported appears to be on a low level, according to research by Europol.80 Political corruption at the level of elected national representatives or agency heads appears to be rare.
"The Cosa Nostra and ‘Ndrangheta have long benefited from high-level political connections in Italy.77 In a similar way, some Mexican drug cartels allegedly benefited from protection from local police and local politicians.78 In Guinea Bissau, international drug traffickers counted on the support of
influential segments within the political and military apparatus for a number of years.79
"The drug problem and corruption have a mutually reinforcing relationship. Corruption facilitates the production and trafficking of illegal drugs and this, in turn, benefits corruption.76 The wealth and power of some drug trafficking organizations can exceed that of local governments, allowing them to buy protection from law enforcement agents, criminal justice institutions, politicians and the business sector. In doing so, they further reinforce corruption. The rule of law is both an immediate victim and, if it is already weak, an underlying factor that feeds this cycle."
"The UNODC/WHO/UNAIDS/World Bank joint estimate of the number of PWID in 2016 is 10.6 million (range: 8.3 million to 14.7 million), corresponding to 0.22 per cent (range: 0.17 to 0.30 per cent) of the global population aged 15–64 years. This estimate is based on the most recent and highest quality information currently available to UNODC. It does not imply that there has been a change in the global number of PWID compared with those published in previous editions of the World Drug Report.
"In the operating guidelines on the early warning system, EMCDDA [European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction] made it explicit that 'the term ‘new’ did not refer to newly invented, but rather ‘newly misused’' substances as 'most of the drugs in question were first created many years ago.'20 In fact, investigations into the potential use of piperazines as anthelmintic have been reported in scientific literature since the early 1950s.21 Yet they only started to emerge as a health problem in several countries in the decade 2001-2010.
"Globally, the extent to which people in need of drug treatment actually receive it remains limited. In 2016, as in previous years, an estimated one in six people who had drug use disorders received treatment. Despite limitations, information about people in treatment for drug use can provide useful insight into trends and geographical variations with respect to drug use disorders.
"Most heroin (and morphine) trafficked in the Americas is smuggled from Mexico to the United States, with far smaller quantities smuggled from Colombia and Guatemala. Analysis of heroin samples in the United States over the past decade shows the increasing predominance of Mexico (90 per cent of samples analysed in 2015) as a source country of the drug, while the importance of countries in South America (3 per cent) has declined markedly. South-West Asia accounted for around 1 per cent of the samples analysed in 2015.10