CICAD: Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID)

OID Publications


Towards a Transnational Study of Drug Issues

The Inter-American Drug Observatory publishes studies about drug issues in the Americas, based on the work of national drug observatories and promoting comparative analysis. Not all studies are translated into multiple languages, but just the language of the country or countries where the studies took place.

The National Research Agenda to Combat Drugs 2016-2021 in Peru

The Peruvian Drug Observatory within the Directorate of Technical Affairs of the “Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas” (DEVIDA), has developed and launched a major National Research Agenda for the Fight against Drugs 2016 - 2021.  The aim of this agenda is to contribute to the improvement of policies and interventions in matters of drugs within the framework of the National Strategy to Combat Drugs. This agenda articulates four strategic areas: alternative, integral and sustainable development, prevention and rehabilitation, interdiction and sanction, and global commitment.  (This report is available only in Spanish).

A Report on Students’ Drug Use in 13 Caribbean Countries, 2016

 The Inter-American Observatory on Drugs has published a comparative analysis of drug use among high school students in 13 Caribbean countries. This report, the second of its kind from the OAS, relies on data that was collected through the use of standardized surveys among school students in the participating member states. The report describes the patterns of drug use among students in this region including the most widely consumed substances, access to drugs, perception of harm, and harmful use of drugs among other results. The report shows how patterns of drug use are different between male and female students with respect to prevalence, age of first use and other important indicators. Comparisons with previous studies indicate that the perception of harm of marijuana is lower while marijuana prevalence has increased; cigarette smoking continues to be relatively low; alcohol consumption remains high among students and binge drinking was significantly high among students in several countries; the use of inhalants continues to be high with higher prevalence rates reported by female students. (This report is available only in English).


I Pilot Study on Drug Use among University Students in Uruguay, 2015

The recent report published by the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) clearly shows that there is no specific pattern in the Hemisphere that is characteristic of the region. The situation in each country is different. However, the report does point to some commonalities. First, that substance use is concentrated in young adults aged 18 to 25, and that there is concern over the high levels of use among adolescents aged 13 to 17. The high levels of use of alcohol in all of the countries are a common issue on which prompt action must be taken


Report on Drug Use in the Americas, 2015

The "Report on Drug Use in the Americas, 2015" contains an exhaustive analysis of drug use in OAS member states and offers a hemispheric and subregional outlook with respect to the consumption of psychoactive substances in recent years. This publication is based on information provided directly by member states, with information updated to the end of 2014, and which comes mainly from three sources: national studies of secondary school students, the general population and university students. Among its findings, the report highlights the high level of drug use among adolescents in the Americas, combined with a very low perception of risk regarding the occasional use of these substances. Overall, the report concludes that the data collected confirms "the need for well-designed public policies that are properly implemented with clear evaluation criteria" for which "relevant and updated qualitative and quantitative information is needed." The report is available in English and Spanish.


Cocaine base paste consumption in South America: A review of epidemiological and medical-toxicological aspects

Over the past 10 years, the consumption of cocaine base paste (CBP), which was previously confined primarily to the countries of the Andean highlands, has gradually spread to countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Although crack has been the subject of many studies, little is known about the epidemiology and toxicology of CBP use in the Americas. The research team carried out a literature review of research studies on factors related to CBP use and epidemiology, composition of CBP, addictive potential, severe and chronic toxicity, psychiatric comorbidity and addiction treatment in the Americas. Large regional and international databases were used (MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library and its Spanish version Biblioteca Cochrane Plus, LILACS, SciELO), Google Scholar was consulted, and the databases of the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs and the various national observatories of Latin America and the Caribbean were consulted. The negative impact on the health of drug users is disproportionate to the low prevalence of CBP use in the Americas, as highlighted by the biopsychosocial impact in the Southern Cone countries. The composition of CBP is complex and varies in different regions and may be related to organ injury due to use. These, taken together with social problems associated with are issues of concern to public health in these countries, and should be subject to further research and interventions to reduce the negative impact of CBP consumption.

Exploring the Relationship between Drugs and Crime: A Comparative Analysis of Survey Data from Prisoners in Four Caribbean Countries

Focusing on the prison populations of Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the OID investigates the prevalence of psychoactive substance use among the adult prison population and the link between criminal behavior and the use of psychoactive substances as perceived by the offenders, especially the early initiation of use of marijuana and alcohol. Although yhis study does not establish a causal relationship between drug use and crime, it does underscore   Online version (PDF, 8.5 mb, 235 pages, 78 tables, 67 figures.).

Report on Drug Use in the Americas, 2011

The first analysis of drug trends in OAS member states, covering the period of 2002-2009,  deals with trends of five groups of substances: alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, cocaine and related products, and non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs.  Finally, there is an analysis of the perceived risk associated with drug consumption and the ease of access to drugs. Data provided by the national drug observatories of member states. More information from the Inter-American Drug Observatory. Online version (841 kb, PDF, 103 pages). It contains 20 tables and 24 figures, as well as appendices with another 24 tables.


Comparative Analysis of Student Drug Use in Caribbean Countries

A Report on Student Drug Use in 12 Caribbean Countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. This report is the synthesis of separate but similar studies that were implemented in 12 countries between 2005 and 2007, using one of the protocols of OID’s Inter-American Drug Use Data System (SIDUC). The protocol outlines the methodology for implementing drug prevalence surveys among secondary school students. This work looks comparatively at drug use among groups of countries or the Caribbean region as a whole. Washington, DC, 2010, 88 pages, 43 tables, 37 figures. More information. Online version (PDF, 1.8 mb).

How to build a national drug observatory: key measures to achieve results

The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the Organization of American States (OAS) published jointly the guide entitled Building a National Drugs Observatory: a joint handbook. The publication is based on experience over the last two decades gained by the EMCDDA in setting up national focal points or the Reitox network in Europe and by CICAD's Inter-American Drug Observatory (OID) in establishing national drug observatories in its member states. Also available is an online toolbox, which includes guidelines and templates for programs and surveys, EMCDDA related tools, links to relevant international treaties and organizations, references for further reading on drug epidemiology, research methods and background information. The handbook is available in English, Spanish and French (about 899 kb). EMCDDA announcement

New trends in drug consumption among youth in six countries - 2009-2010

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the OID and the national drug commissions of the six participating countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay), presented the second joint study of secondary students: "Information for the design of national and regional strategies on drug control for youth" (Información para el diseño de las estrategias nacionales y regionales sobre la problemática de drogas en jóvenes). The study (PDF, 3.4 mb, 90 pages) is only available in Spanish.


Comparative Study on Drug Use in the General Population in 6 South American Countries - 2008

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and CICAD through the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID), in partnership with the national drug commissions of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay, present the findings report on the study "Guidelines for Public Policies on Drugs in the Subregion: First Comparative Study on Drug Consumption and Associated Factors among the General Population (15-64 Years Old)." (Elementos orientadores para las políticas públicas sobre drogas en la Subregión: Primer estudio comparativo sobre consumo de drogas y factores asociados en población de 15 a 64 años.). More information in the special issue of the CICAD Observer. The study is only available in Spanish (PDF, 94 pp, 2.33 Mb). An executive summary is available in English (PDF, 6 pp, 66 kb) now.

Study on Drug Use among Secondary School Students in South America - 2006

The Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have just published the study "Youth and Drugs in South American Countries: A Challenge for Public Policies" (Jóvenes y drogas en países sudamericanos: un desafío para las políticas públicas). The publication arises out of a research project entitled A Comparative Study of Drug Consumption in the Secondary School Student Population in Nine South American Countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. This study is the first of its kind, using comparable methodologies from the start. It is based on a sampling of 350,000 students (ages 14-17), representing a total population of 9.5 million. The report deals with the problem of alcohol and tobacco, as well as the use of tranquilizers and stimulants without medical prescription, and inhalants. The report is currently available only in Spanish (112 pp., Adobe Acrobat PDF, 3,2 Mb). An executive summary in English (27 pp., Adobe Acrobat PDF, 150 kb) is available.

Partner Publications

  • II  Andean Epidemiological Study on Drug Consumption in the University Population, carried out with the framework of the PRADICAN Project of the Andean Community, executed by OID/CICAD with funds of the European Community: Regional  Report (PDF, 2,9 mb, only available in Spanish) and country reports: Perú , Ecuador, Colombia, y Bolivia.
  • Epidemiologic Study on Public Health and Associated Factors of College Students in the Andean Countries: Comparative Report (PDF, 3 mb) - Andean Community of Nations and European Union, 2009. Country reports on Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are available only in Spanish.
  • Review and Evaluation of the Drug Use Survey Used to Develop Protocols by the OAS/CICAD, Pilot Study, Her Majesty’s Prison Richmond Hill, St. George’s, Grenada (2010). Methodology and study supported by OID.
  • Study on Alcohol and Drugs in the Young Offender Population (New Opportunity Corp), Guyana (2010). Methodology and study supported by OID.

Publications only available in Spanish


updated on 8/3/2016 10:41:58 AM