Drug use prevalence is stable around the world, with around 243 million individuals, or 5 percent of the world’s population aged 15-64 having used illicit drugs in the past year, according to the 2014 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Meanwhile, problem drug users numbered about 27 million, roughly 0.6 percent of the world’s adult population, or 1 in every 200 people, said the report.

UNODC called for a stronger focus on the health and human rights of all drug users, but particularly those who inject drugs.

“There remain serious gaps in service provision. In recent years, only one in six drug users globally has had access to or received drug dependence treatment services each year”, stated UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, stressing that some 200,000 drug-related deaths had occurred in 2012.

The UNODC said sustainable success in drug control required firm international commitment. A balanced and comprehensive approach addressing both supply and demand should be backed up by evidence-based responses focusing on prevention, treatment, social rehabilitation and integration.

According to the report, heroin remains a major drug of concern in several countries in Asia including China, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. After showing a dramatic increase between 2008 and 2011, heroin seizures levelled off in 2012 and 2013 suggesting a stable trend, but remain at a very high level with over 9 tonnes seized per year.

In the first six months of 2014, Vietnamese police seized 14.1kg of opium, a sharply decrease from the amount of 83kg in the same period last year.-VNA