Global rise in new ‘legal highs’ – UN World Drug Report
Governments everywhere are struggling to cope with an increase in the number of new drugs known as “legal highs”, according to a UN report.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine is globally stable.
But new synthetic substances are being constantly spread via the internet, the office’s latest World Drug Report says.
It stresses that these seemingly legal drugs can have deadly effects.
These “new psychoactive substances” (NPS) have not been tested for safety and pose “unforeseen public health challenges”, the report notes.
“Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS… can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs.
“Street names, such as spice, meow meow and bath salts mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun,” the report adds.
New substances are being identified all the time and the authorities are struggling to keep up, according to the UNODC.
“While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market,” the report says.
It focuses on drugs that appear to originate in Asia but are marketed globally online.
The biggest market is the US, where use of these substances among youth “appears to be more than twice as widespread as in the European Union”, it says.
Within the EU, Britain is a particularly receptive market, the UNODC says, with almost 700,000 Britons aged between 15 and 24 having experimented with legal highs.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reported earlier this year that it had detected 73 new substances last year, compared with 49 in 2011.
The new synthetic drugs are a result of criminalising the originals.
If the original drugs had never been criminalised in the first place, there would be no synthetic drugs needed.
So instead of having to cope with addictions to a half dozen drugs, they have hundreds, if not thousands, of types of addiction to treat. The most addictive drug is said to be ‘crack’, you are addicted from the first try. If drugs were decriminalised then ‘crack’ would never have been invented, it wouldn’t be around plaguing the world. I assume Brazil is not the only country plagued by large areas of major cities where hundreds of people gather/live solely to consume ‘crack’ all day.
The only way to stem the creation of new illegal highs is to decriminalise all drugs and treat drug addiction as a sickness instead of a crime.
Drug addiction is not a crime. Is alcoholism a crime? Of course not, it is a symptom to be treated.
The politicians are fools!
The politicians are blind fools!
The mere fact that we (the public) put these politicians in power is strong evidence that we are also fools, perhaps even bigger fools.
Some countries are having a rethink about the criminality of drugs, but they are moving too slowly and each day they prevaricate, more synthetic drugs with more horrific effects hit the market.
The spin-off of decriminalising drugs would save the world billions in law enforcement and put more police on the street to fight real crime. It would also remove much of the criminal elements from supplying drugs.