Cocaine production in Brazil is beginning to worry international agencies. The representative to Brazil and the Southern Cone of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Giovanni Quaglia, claims that there are already signs that the country is importing coca paste for local production of the drug.
According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN agency that released its annual report, March 1st, in various countries, Brazil is one of the three South American countries most affected by cocaine traffic, together with Ecuador and Venezuela.
The document also reveals that there is an ever-growing quantity of cocaine from Brazil and Colombia arriving in Portuguese-speaking African countries like Angola and Mozambique, as well as South Africa.
Amphetamine consumption in Brazil is another matter underscored in the report. According to Elisaldo Carlini, who is a permanent member of the INCB and director of the Brazilian Information Center on Psychotropic Drugs, Brazil is the fourth largest consumer of this substance: For every one thousand inhabitants, nearly seven doses are consumed.
Amphetamines are used as components in remedies to lose weight, and it is estimated that 2 million Brazilians take this type of medication. The INCB report states that these medications lead to dependence and cause serious health problems.
Brazil is cited as an example of a country that had little success in combatting the consumption of appetite depressants.
The report refers to the approval of measures, between 1994 and 1997, to introduce more rigorous monitoring of medical prescriptions, which led to a reduction in amphetamine consumption.
“But in 1998, following the adoption of more permissive laws, the use of anfepramona and fenproporex (appetite depressants) increased more than 500%,” the report shows.
According to Carlini, amphetamines have been prescribed indiscriminately in Brazil.
Translation: David Silberstein
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