Investment in prevention and treatment of drug abuse can lead to significant savings in health-care and crime-related costs, and alleviate the suffering of drug-dependent users and their families, the independent United Nations body tasked with monitoring the production and consumption of narcotics worldwide said in a report.
“Every dollar spent on drug abuse prevention can save the government up to ten dollars in later costs,” the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) wrote in its annual report.
According to its findings, only one in six drug users receive the treatment he or she needs at a cost of $35 billion per year, and most commonly, to fight addictions to heroin, cannabis or cocaine.
Oceania is the only region in which seizures of all the main types of drugs (amphetamine-type stimulants, cannabis, opiates and cocaine) have recently increased. Largely driven by significant increases in Australia, those increases are partly attributable to improvements in law enforcement and perhaps to greater efforts by organized criminal groups to access the illicit drug market in Australia.