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01636-technical series 1995-03-01 1

01636-technical series 1995-03-01 1

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Number 2
THESOCIAL IMPACTOF DRUG ABUSE
 
This study was originally prepared by UNDCP as a position paper  for the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 6-12 March 1995)
 
 
Contents
Introduction
.............................................................1
Chapter 
Part one: backgroundI.The drug problem
................................................3A.The global context .............................................3B.Growing plants to produce drugs..................................4C.Distribution and illicit trafficking...................................6D.Consumption of drugs..........................................7E.Overview of opium/heroin and coca/cocaine..........................8
Part two: impact of drug abuseII.Social implications of drug abuse
...................................10A.Family and community.........................................10B.Health.....................................................14C.Education...................................................21D.Crime......................................................24E.Work and employment.........................................29
Part threeIII.Drugs and the environment
.......................................34
IV.Drugs and development
..........................................36
V.Alternative development
..........................................38A.What is alternative development..................................38B.How can alternative development be characterized?...................38C.Necessary components and implementation..........................39
Part fourVI.Conclusions
...................................................41A.Drug abuse problems: losing ground...............................41B.Lack of productive employment and impact on the workplace...........42C.Implications of rural and urban poverty.............................42D.Marginalization...............................................43E.Future challenges.............................................44 
VII.Recommendations addressed to the World Summit for Social Development
.45
 
1
Introduction
Prepared for the World Summit for Social Development, which was held at Copenhagen in March1995, the paper that follows analyses social aspects of many of the principal issues involved in drug abuseand drug control that are of concern to organizations of the United Nations system and otherintergovernmental organizations. The paper was originally commissioned by the United NationsInternational Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and drafted by an independent consultant, Jean PaulSmith, former consulting Psychologist and Senior Policy Analyst at the National Institute on Drug Abuse,Washington. It was subsequently reviewed and revised by a United Nations inter-agency group. Thenames of the organizations that provided information for this paper appear below.The purpose of the paper is twofold: first, to examine the social and economic impact of drug abusefrom a broad international perspective. Secondly, based on that analysis, to suggest how problems of drugabuse prevention and control can be addressed in a constructive, coordinated manner. The paper concernsprimarily narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances but also includes, where appropriate, information onproblems related to the abuse of other addictive substances such as alcohol and tobacco. It is divided intofour main sections.Part one describes the nature of the drug problem, in particular the chain of drug production,distribution and consumption. It also provides information on the economics of this chain, includingstatistics and comparative data by country and geographical area; on how changes in the global economyhave affected these developments; and on the monitoring of drug abuse by various agencies.Part two discusses the social impact of drug abuse and its consequences for families, health,education, crime and employment.Part three covers the interaction between drug abuse and development, including efforts by theinternational community to facilitate economic and social progress in developing countries. Developmentis addressed in the broad sense of the word, i.e. it comprehends not simply economic development but alsosound environmental practices, social conditions and the meeting of basic needs. Part three describes someof the negative consequences that drug abuse and drug trafficking have had. It analyses alternativedevelopment in regions that are economically dependent on the illicit drug industry and includes moral andsocial considerations as they influence farmers and communities growing crops for the illicit drug industry.Part four summarizes the information presented in this paper in order to reach certain conclusions. Itdoes this by highlighting the implications of drug abuse for the major themes of the World Summit forSocial Development: poverty, employment and marginalization. It also contains recommendationsaddressed to the World Summit to help increase the effectiveness of international efforts to prevent andreduce drug abuse problems.Organizations providing information used for the preparation of this paper are as follows:

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