The Social Impact of Drug Abuse

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THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF 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: background I. The drug problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 A. B. C. D. E. The global context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Growing plants to produce drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Distribution and illicit trafficking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Consumption of drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Overview of opium/heroin and coca/cocaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part two: impact of drug abuse II. Social implications of drug abuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 A. B. C. D. E. Family and community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Work and employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part three III. IV. V. Drugs and the environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Drugs and development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Alternative development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 A. What is alternative development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 B. How can alternative development be characterized? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 C. Necessary components and implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Part four VI. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 A. B. C. D. E. Drug abuse problems: losing ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lack of productive employment and impact on the workplace . . . . . . . . . . . Implications of rural and urban poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marginalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Future challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 42 42 43 44 10 14 21 24 29 3 4 6 7 8

VII.

Recommendations addressed to the World Summit for Social Development . 45

Introduction

Prepared for the World Summit for Social Development, which was held at Copenhagen in March 1995, the paper that follows analyses social aspects of many of the principal issues involved in drug abuse and drug control that are of concern to organizations of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations. The paper was originally commissioned by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and drafted by an independent consultant, Jean Paul Smith, 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. The names 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...
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