A summary of global drug abuse statistics was released by Australian researchers last week. The report shows the estimated numbers of drug abusers in various areas of the world, and finds that wealthier, more advanced countries are more at risk. Among the study’s findings are estimates of illicit drug abuse throughout the world:
Much of the drug abuse around the world can be found in the wealthiest and most developed countries. This is possibly because residents have more access to drugs, or have the means to buy drugs, or maybe because people in these countries are of the mindset that they deserve what makes them feel the best. The study “serves to confirm something addiction experts have known for some time — that the extent of illicit drug use and abuse in developed countries like the United States has reached epidemic proportions,” said Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons, a professor in the department of psychology at Hunter College, in New York City. (2)
Countries like the U.S. have other things to worry about also, besides illicit drugs. Legal prescription painkillers are becoming the most abused substances in our country. Dr. Marc Galanter said, “It is important that we call attention to very serious drug abuse problems that still exist in the United States. For example, we are seeing recent increases in abuse of painkillers in the United States, as well as the abuse of MDMA [Ecstasy] by adolescents and young adults. Abuse of these particular drugs is not prevalent in less industrialized countries.” (2)
Other substance, like tobacco and alcohol also have a huge impact on countries throughout the world. Although illicit drug use was linked with about 250,000 deaths worldwide in 2004, alcohol claimed roughly 2.25 million lives globally during that same time period, while tobacco use led to an estimated 5.1 million deaths. (1)
This article was written by Bethany Winkel
Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.