Law Enforcement Largely Ineffective Against Illegal Dark Net Markets

"In July 2017, police forces from several countries worked together to take down the largest drug-trading platform on the darknet, the part of the “deep web” containing information that is only accessible using special web browsers. Before it was closed, AlphaBay had featured more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and chemicals. It had had over 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors during its existence. The authorities also succeeded in taking down the trading platform Hansa, described as the third largest criminal marketplace on the dark web.

Global Review Shows Most Countries Lack Adequate HIV Prevention Resources

"A systematic review undertaken in 2017 of the coverage of interventions to prevent and manage HIV and hepatitis C among PWID showed that needle and syringe programmes were available in only 52 per cent of countries where injecting drug use was reported, while opioid substitution therapy was confirmed to be available in 48 per cent of countries worldwide.

High-Level Political Corruption, Crime, and Drug Trafficking

"The Cosa Nostra and ‘Ndrangheta have long benefited from high-level political connections in Italy.77 In a similar way, some Mexican drug cartels allegedly benefited from protection from local police and local politicians.78 In Guinea Bissau, international drug traffickers counted on the support of
influential segments within the political and military apparatus for a number of years.79

Nexus of Corruption and Drug Trafficking

"The drug problem and corruption have a mutually reinforcing relationship. Corruption facilitates the production and trafficking of illegal drugs and this, in turn, benefits corruption.76 The wealth and power of some drug trafficking organizations can exceed that of local governments, allowing them to buy protection from law enforcement agents, criminal justice institutions, politicians and the business sector. In doing so, they further reinforce corruption. The rule of law is both an immediate victim and, if it is already weak, an underlying factor that feeds this cycle."

Estimated Prevalence of HIV Related To Injection Drug Use Worldwide

"Injecting drug use is estimated to account for approximately 10 per cent of HIV infections worldwide and 30 per cent of all HIV cases outside Africa,113 while in the eastern countries of the WHO European Region114 more than 80 per cent of all HIV infections occur among PWID [People Who Inject Drugs].115 PWID are estimated to be 22 times more likely than people in the general population to be living with HIV.116

"New" Psychoactive Substances Are Not Necessarily New

"In the operating guidelines on the early warning system, EMCDDA [European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction] made it explicit that 'the term ‘new’ did not refer to newly invented, but rather ‘newly misused’' substances as 'most of the drugs in question were first created many years ago.'20 In fact, investigations into the potential use of piperazines as anthelmintic have been reported in scientific literature since the early 1950s.21 Yet they only started to emerge as a health problem in several countries in the decade 2001-2010.