Africa has not only become a transit point for cocaine trafficking, the continent is also said to be consuming more of the illegal substance.
According to a senior UN official, the continent’s consumption of cocaine is seemingly rising.
According to the 2013 World Drug Report launched last week, over 2.6 million people in Africa used cocaine in 2011 only compared to a million from 2004 to 2005.
“In Africa, consumption appears to be growing,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in a statement June 26, 2013 to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The 2013 report indicated that the use of traditional drugs, such as cocaine and heroin seems to be declining in some parts of the world but prescription drug abuse and new psychoactive substance abuse is growing.
A psychoactive drug or substance is a chemical substance that acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behavior, according to the Science Daily.
Although data were scarce, the UNODC Boss notes that “Africa is emerging as a target for the trafficking as well as production of illicit substances.”
Mr. Fedotov called for international support to monitor the situation and to prevent the continent from becoming increasingly vulnerable to the drugs trade and organized crime.
“There is also a need to help the large number of drug users who are the victims of the spill-over effect of drug trafficking through the continent,” he added.
The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was a day used to reflect on the world drug problem.
The 2013 drug report showed that cocaine production has been largely stable from 2011.
By Ekow Quandzie