Are There Any International Efforts to Fight Addiction?

Are There Any International Efforts to Fight Addiction?

International efforts to fight addiction to drugs like Xanax and drug trafficking grow every year

Drug addiction to drugs like Xanax spans the globe. While some countries were once known as top drug producers and others as top drug markets, now more countries are embracing the global problem of addiction and stepping in to fight it.

Changing International Drug Control Efforts

Two decades ago many world leaders believed the United States accounted for the majority of the world’s drug market, but increased cooperation between countries has changed that view according to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. At the end of the 1990s, the U.S. had two percent of the world’s illegal drug users, and Americans spent 10% to 15% of the total money spent globally on drugs. Currently the spirit of cooperation between world governments is much higher as everyone involved recognizes the importance of working together.

The black market sales of legal and illegal drugs like Xanax damage the political stability of vulnerable governments. International criminal groups use drug trafficking money to increase their numbers and capabilities. Currently Latin America and Afghanistan are key spots for drug growers and suppliers. The U.S. and other countries work together to stop the flow of cocaine and heroin growing in these countries according to a Congressional Research Service report.

United Nations Drug Office

The leading international group charged with coordinating governments in the battle against addiction is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC). This group works to fight illicit drugs and international crime. Since 1997 the office has fought the world drug problem with global resources—90% of its budget comes from voluntary contributions, which is the vast majority from world governments.

UNDOC has three main objectives including the following:

  • Use field offices throughout the world to work with local governments and coordinate control efforts to stop illegal drugs, crime and terrorism
  • Research and analyze data about drugs and drug use to act as a foundation for policies and operational decisions
  • Assist in the development of international treaties and domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism

A major element of UNDOC’s drug policy recommendations is distributing education about addiction. It works with countries to help leaders understand that addiction is a public health problem not a crime. It also offers education campaigns to encourage young people to avoid drug abuse and promote addiction treatment for people struggling with substance problems.

While international efforts are growing and seeing more success every year, there are serious danger zones in the world. The illegal drug trade fuels criminal and terrorist groups involved in violent and white-collar crimes, which in turn creates a vicious cycle that continues illegal drug trafficking.

Global hot spots include areas with serious social unrest and weak governments. In its 2014 World Drug Report, UNODC identifies the following areas of concern:

  • Increased opium cultivation and production in Afghanistan
  • Violence brought on by the illicit drug trade
  • Growing instability of regions already vulnerable to drug trafficking and local production, including West and East Africa

Violence and instability continue to be major impediments to keeping illegal drugs off the market despite successful education efforts that reduce overall drug abuse rates.

Shift in International Attitudes on Drug Addiction

The fight against drug trafficking has grown to include more humanitarian efforts that improve health and reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and hepatitis C. As researchers understand more about the disease of addiction to drugs like Xanax, efforts to criminalize people for non-violent drug offenses have softened. More countries are incorporating mandated stays in addiction treatment facilities as part of sentencing.

The World Health Organization also leads many international efforts aimed at reducing illegal drug trafficking and educating people about the dangers of substance abuse. Its annual summit meetings reveal changing trends in attitudes about addiction. In the coming years the international debate on drugs will center on whether or not to legalize certain drugs and decriminalize certain aspects of drug use. The United States is committed to keeping drugs illegal. The Obama administration supports current policies that keep drugs illegal because research shows drugs that are more available at a cheaper price lead to higher addiction rates according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment?

Addiction to drugs like Xanax is a serious, chronic disease, but there are many effective treatments. As researchers understand more about addiction, they know it’s crucial to find effective, quality treatment. If you or a loved one is considering addiction treatment, call our admissions coordinators for more information. We offer tailored advice about treatments that address each person’s individual needs.

There is no shame in seeking addiction treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with any aspect of addiction treatment, please call our toll-free helpline. Our coordinators offer advice about all aspects of treatment. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week for advice. Don’t struggle alone. Call us today.

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