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A look at the problem of drug addiction around the world

Share on Facebook Drug abuse has a vast impact on many areas of society: The nations of the world take drug abuse seriously, and data collection is a crucial part of their efforts to tackle illicit substances. Most countries invest in domestic as well as international efforts to study and quantify the problem of drug abuse and its effects on the daily lives of its citizens. Europe is an interesting point of comparison for the economic and social policies of the U.

As a collection of nations with varying sizes and economic conditions, it can serve as a means to study social drug trends.

How Other Countries Deal with Addiction and Treatment

Much like individual states in the U. Every country tackles the problem of illicit drugs from multiple directions: The following chart and maps show an unfortunate reality: America, when compared to European nations, is in the top five countries for a look at the problem of drug addiction around the world every national measure of drug abuse.

And while some European countries show up in the top five more often than others, none do as consistently as the U. This offers an opportunity to understand what works and what doesn't for different societies and potentially find ways to fix our own.

Alcohol use among nations Compared to every other substance studied, alcohol — a legal substance for adults — is universally used far more often than any drug.

Notably, Turkey a 99. America pulls ahead In contrast to rates of alcohol use, the U. Office on Drugs and Crime, the high result reported for Iceland is controversial.

In the year before the study that concluded that Iceland was the No. The price of cannabis around the world The U. Although accurate statistics on an illicit trade can be difficult to obtain, these figures show that no matter where you are, a drug addiction can quickly add up into an expensive habit. Comparing cocaine use When it comes to previous-year cocaine use, the U.

Spain and Portugal offer an interesting contrast: While Portugal has been a success story and a model for other countries, including Spain and Italy, Spain's success has been decidedly mixed.

Rampant opioid use in the U. Opioidswhich are synthesized in laboratories, are distinct from opiates such as heroin the direct product of opium poppy cultivation. Few countries have reliable opiate-specific use statistics due to the social stigma of illicit drugs, but we do know that the U. Prescription painkillers and heroin rank among the most addictive substances. Opiate and opioid dependencies can be quite tenacious, but substance abuse rehabilitation can help.

Per capita, the U. A look at drug-related arrests The U.

UN warns of global increase in drug addiction in new report

Unsurprisingly, it ranks high on the list of total drug-related arrests — placing at No. However, it pales in comparison to Spain — ironically, a country in which drug possession is no longer a criminal offense. This shows the massive challenge Spain faces as a port of call for smugglers of all types of drugs from all around the world — even Canadians have been arrested while trying to bring illicit substances into Spain.

  • Tupala E, Tiihonen J;
  • Risk-factor genes code for alcohol-metabolising enzymes, and also for the effectors of neurotransmission — receptors, transporters and signal-transduction components — for a variety of transmitter classes, including dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, and GABA;
  • While Portugal has been a success story and a model for other countries, including Spain and Italy, Spain's success has been decidedly mixed.

Yearly drug overdose deaths by nation When it comes to yearly deaths by drug overdose, the U. However, it should be pointed out that these statistics rely on death certificates issued by doctors, and studies have shown that there can be substantial variations in what doctors report on death certificates, both on a cultural and individual level.

National availability of substance use treatment facilities The U.

Understanding the Global Problem of Drug Addiction is a Challenge for IDARS Scientists

Number of people in treatment for substance abuse As seen on the maps above, the U. Unfortunately, the number of people who are treated for drug abuse and addiction is still dwarfed by the staggering number of people who are using drugs to begin with.

But all nations recognize the importance of the fight, at the societal, local, and personal level. With the proper help, you can face your addiction — and fight back.