Wednesday, 26. November 2014
10. 11. 06. - 11:40
At a meeting in London today to launch a campaign on shared responsibility and the global problem of illicit drugs, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, warned Europe that it was heading for a cocaine crisis.
"Wake up Europe! You are heading for a crisis", warned Mr. Costa. He said that both addicts and governments were in denial. "Cocaine users are not only harming themselves and, potentially, others. They are contributing to the destruction of the environment, and bankrolling drug traffickers, insurgents and terrorists. Keep that in mind next time you think a line of coke is trendy and harmless."
In addressing the meeting, sponsored by the Government of Colombia, Mr. Costa observed that in most of the world, demand for cocaine was stable or even dropping. Coca cultivation had been slashed by a quarter in the past five years. Seizures of cocaine had almost doubled during that period. He noted that "an astounding 42 per cent of all cocaine produced was seized in 2005".
But this drug control progress was being undercut by an upward trend in cocaine abuse in Europe, particularly in Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The level of cocaine use in Spain - which was 3 per cent among those aged 5 to 64 - now exceeded (for the first time ever) levels of cocaine use in the United States. Ten years ago, in Spain 7 per cent of all new clients entering treatment for drug abuse were addicted to cocaine. In 2002 it was 42 per cent: "I would bet that the proportion has continued to rise since then", said Mr. Costa
The United Kingdom was not far behind. In 2005, annual prevalence for cocaine use there was 2.4 per cent, up from 0.6 per cent a decade earlier..
Costa added that Europe had a credibility problem when telling Andean countries to reduce supply since the drug habits of Europeans were creating the demand that drives coca cultivation. In agreement with the host of the meeting, Vice President of Colombia, Francisco Santos, Mr. Costa said that it was time to get serious about assuming a shared responsibility for the drug problem, for example by providing more assistance to coca farmers in order to encourage sustainable alternative development.
The head of UNODC cautioned that supply control was not enough. Even if all 900-odd tons of Andean cocaine were seized this year, as many tons would be produced next year. And even if Andean farmers gave up all their coca crops, demand by the world's 13 million cocaine addicts would generate as much cultivation somewhere else.
"Plainly speaking", concluded Mr. Costa, "the mother of all drug control challenges is drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation." He said this too was a shared responsibility for the entire community and that drugs were too big a problem to be left to drug experts.
Mr. Costa's complete statement is available at
by David Rogers email@example.com
How An Austrian Park Every Year Becomes A Lake
Spectacular images that show how a park becomes a lake each spring complete with underwater trees have been captured by two divers.
Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.
Controversy Over Advert For Fucking Hell Beer
An Austrian political party has defended a decision to promote a local beer named after the village of Fucking.
Luigi Restaurant Cooks Up Delicious Delights For Winter Season
Brothers Luigi and Leo Doci who own the renowned Luigi restaurant chain will be cooking up a storm in Semmering this winter.
Church Porn Star In Court
A Polish-born woman who made a video of herself masturbating in church is facing six months in jail after a viewer called police when he recognised the woman.
Hugh Grant Cuddles Lamb On Animal Farm With Mrs Glock
Hugh Grant led a star-studded turnout at Austria's animal farm project which unveiled its Christmas market this week.
Cheating Wife Buries Hubby Alive For New Lover
A woman who married her sisterís fiance and then attacked him with a knife before burying him alive so she could be with her new lover is facing life in jail.
Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.
Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Controversy Over Advert For Fucking Hell Beer|
|Half Naked Winnie The Pooh Banned From Playground|
|Explosive Flash In Russia Blamed On Meteor|
|Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum|
|Plumber Zapped On Private Parts Then Impaled Finds God|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.