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?