World Drug Report 2022

Released on: 27 June 2022

Released by: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

The World Drug report 2022 was released on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June 2022.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or World Drug Day:

  • It is marked on 26 June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.
  • The theme of World Drug Day: ‘Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises
UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime):
  • Every year UNODC issues the World Drug Report, with key statistics, and factual data obtained through official sources, a science-based approach, and research.
  • It provides facts and practical solutions to address the current world drug problem and remains committed to attaining health for all.

The World Drug Report 2022

The UN World Drug Report 2022 consists of five separate booklets, provides depth analysis of the global drug market, and examines the nexus between drugs and the environment within the bigger picture of the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and environmental sustainability.

Aim: The world Drug Report 2022 is aimed at fostering greater international cooperation to counter the impact of the world drug problem on health, governance, and security and also its special insights, at member states in anticipating and addressing threats from the drug market and mitigating their consequences.

The World Drug Report 2022 provides a global overview for the supply and demand of opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants, and new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as their impact on health.

Highlights of World Drug Report 2022

The UNODC World Drug Report 2022 highlights trends on cannabis post-legalization, environmental impacts of illicit drugs, and drug use among women and youth.

  • UNODC has included several calls to action in the world Drug Report 2022 in order to help save lives affected by drug misuse.
  • The report also details record rises in the manufacturing of cocaine, the expansion of synthetic drugs to new markets, and continued gaps in the availability of drug treatments, especially for women.
  • According to the report, around 284 million people aged 15-64 used drugs worldwide in 2020, a 26% increase over the previous decade.
  • Young people are using more drugs and the use level is higher than in previous generations in many countries.
  • In Africa and Latin America, people under 35% represent the majority of people being treated for drug use disorders.
    • Globally, the report estimates that 11.2 million people worldwide were injecting drugs.
    • Around half of this number were living with hepatitis C, 1.4 million living with IV, and 1.2 million were living with both.
  • The report further emphasizes the importance of galvanizing the international community, governments, civil society, and all stakeholders to take urgent action to protect people, including by strengthening drug use prevention and treatment and by tackling illicit drug supply.
UN World Drug Report 2022

UN World Drug Report 2022

Effects of Cannabis legalization:
  • Cannabis legalization in North America has increased its consumption.
  • Associated increases in people with psychiatric disorders, suicides, and hospitalizations have also been reported.
  • The legalization of Cannabis has increased tax revenue and reduced arrest for cannabis possession.
Continued growth in drug production and trafficking:
  • Cocaine manufacture was at a high record in 2020, growing 11% from 2019.
  • Cocaine seizures also increased, despite the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020
  • According to seizure data cocaine trafficking expanding to other regions outside the main market of North America and Europe.
  • Increased level of trafficking to Africa and Asia.
  • Trafficking of methamphetamine expanded geographically.
  • Growth in production of Opium worldwide.
Region-wise drug trends:
  • In many countries in Africa and South and Central America, the largest proportion of people in treatment for drug use disorders are primarily for cannabis use disorders.
  • In Eastern and South Eastern Europe and in Central Asia, people are most often in treatment for opioid use disorders.
  • Overdose death in the United States and Canada, predominantly driven by an epidemic of the non-medical use of fentanyl, continue to break records.
  • The seizures have been increasing in North America and in South-East Asia record high.
  • Methamphetamine seizures reported from South West Asia increased 50% in 2020 from 2019.
Most used stimulant drug region wise in Map.

Most used stimulant drug region-wise in Map.

Conflict zones as the center for synthetic drug production:
  • The World Drug Report 2022 also highlights that illicit drugs can flourish in situations of conflict and where the rule of law is weak.
  • The 2022 World Drug Report also reveals that conflict may also disrupt and shift drug trafficking routes, as has happened in the Balkans and more recently in Ukraine.
The effect of drug markets on the environment:
  • According to World Drug Report 2022, illicit drug markets can have local, community, or individual levels impacts on the environment.
  • Deforestation associated with illicit coca cultivation
  • Waste generated during synthetic drug manufacture can 5-30 times the volume of the end product
  • Dumping of waste can affect soil, water, and air directly as well as organism, animals, and the food chain indirectly.
Consumption of drugs by women and gap in treatment:
  • Women represent an estimated 45-49% of users of amphetamines and non-medical users of pharmaceutical stimulants, pharmaceutical opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers.
  • The treatment gap remains large for women globally.
  • The report also spotlights the wide range of roles fulfilled by women in the global cocaine economy, including cultivating coca, transporting small quantities of drugs, selling to consumers, and smuggling into prisons.



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