International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021: With people confined to their home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many rendered jobless, the times made it hard for those who were struggling with drug abuse.Also Read - Britney Spears Says She Was Fully Drugged by Father, Asks to End Conservatorship

Reports of young college students getting addicted to drugs or police nabbing drug peddlers near schools have now become common. Addiction typically starts with alcohol, moves towards nicotine and ‘ganja’ and then graduates to hard substances like cocaine, MDME etc. The situation is grave and demands immediate attention. Also Read - Drug-addict Father Sells Newborn For Rs 10,000 in Odisha; Baby Rescued

According to the 2021 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), around 275 million people used drugs worldwide last year during COVID-19 pandemic, up by 22 per cent from 2010.

Here’s how the COVID-19 pandemic made things worse in terms of substance abuse across the world, according to experts:

  • During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a rise in the use of cannabis in most countries.
  • Increased non-medical use of pharmaceutical sedatives has been observed in this period.
  • In disease-linked to drug abuse, Opioids continue to be the biggest contributor.
  • Socio-economic stressors have accelerated the demand for use of drugs.
  • After the initial disruption of the pandemic, drug markets have speedily resumed operations.
  • A rise has been witnessed in larger shipments of illicit drugs and frequency of overland routes used for trafficking.
  • 13 per cent of the total number of persons who use drugs, i.e. 36.3 million people, suffer from disorders linked to drug abuse.
  • As per latest global estimates, around 5.5 per cent of the population aged between 5 to 64 have used drugs at least once in the last year.
  • More than 11 million people globally are estimated to inject drugs, half of whon suffer from Hepatitis C.