Prescription drug abuse discussed at global level

The U.S. is not the only country plagued by opiate abuse

Though we’re well aware that prescription drug abuse continues to be an epidemic in the U.S. and other Western countries, it is also a growing health concern in developing countries. Last week, the annual United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs met to analyze the global drug situation and issued their findings in this report. We’ve digested some of the more disturbing trends into the following factoids:

  • Areas of greatest consumption of prescription drugs (like the U.S.) are seeing the correlated trend of a decline in “traditional” drug abuse such as cocaine
  • Half the world’s 15-20 million opioid users are in Asia and the most commonly used opioid is heroin
  • Europe has had the largest economic gain from the opioid market
  • In the U.S., non-medical use of prescription drugs increased from 6.1% to 6.4% among the general population
  • In Canada, 6.1% of 15-to-19-year-olds report using prescription opioids to “get high”

The UN’s recommendation? “Trends of increasing abuse of … prescription drugs should be monitored, especially in regions with currently low prevalence rates.” Not very helpful, but at least we know it’s being monitored. Right?

About Dana Owens

Dana Owens is San Francisco-based writer, editor and blogger who works on diverse projects from holistic health research to record label promotion. In addition to lending her editorial eye to Oxy Watchdog, Dana also acts as copyeditor for 99 Series, Inc. and executive assistant/project coordinator for Heartline Productions.
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