Illegal Drugs Take Their Hold On the World
The United Nations recently shared statistics on how illegal drugs seem to be taking over the world. Humans of all ages and nationalities are becoming victims of drug abuse. Their annual World Drug Report declared that drug abuse kills nearly 200,000 people each year, and those numbers will very likely rise as the world becomes increasingly developed and populated.
The study, conducted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), predicted a world falling victim to increasing addictions of illicit drugs. They surmise that drug abuse will steadily rise in developed nations and rapidly increase in developing nations.
2012 World Drug Report: In Short
Over the past five years, the world’s use of illegal drugs averaged between 3.4 and 6.6 percent of the adult population. This growth has been steadily increasing. In 2010, the UN estimated that nearly 5 percent of the world’s population, or 230 million people, used illegal drugs.
Included in the 2012 World Drug Report were findings on several individual drugs:
- Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the world, used by 119-224 million people.
- Amphetamine-type stimulants are the second most commonly used drug, used by 14-52.5 million people.
- There were more than twice as many confiscations of methamphetamines in 2010 than in 2008, while in Europe alone there were more than twice as many confiscations of ecstasy.
- More men take illegal drugs than women. Women in the U.S. take two-thirds of what U.S. men take, compared to countries like India where women take only one-tenth what their males take.
- Synthetic drug production increased worldwide.
- In a little over a decade, coca bush cultivation decreased by 33 percent.
The Financial Costs of Worldwide Drug Abuse
Drug abuse costs can affect a family struggling to pay bills to the worldwide economy. It costs people their personal health and the productivity and morale of the world’s companies.
The UN estimates that worldwide drug abuse treatment would annually cost $250 billion if all persons who needed treatment were to receive it. The Associated Press reported that less than one in five people are currently receiving the treatment they need.
Drug abuse costs so much to the members in an individual family—the loss of trust, of security, of financial stability, and even of separation from spouses or children. But, these costs add up to cost worldwide.
When the effects of drugs keep employees from coming to work or focusing on work while there, the company loses and so do all of the other companies networked worldwide with that company and all of their consumers.
With more Illegal drugs on the street, more law enforcement time and money is spent on investigations and incarceration.
UN officials believe that as the world population rises, urban areas increase, and industry grows, worldwide drug abuse will increase 25 percent by 2050. That means that in a little less than 20 years, 65 million more people will be abusing drugs.
Yury Fedotov, of UNDOC, said that the organization predicts a rise of drug abuse in developing nations as they adopt practices of more industrialized nations. Fedotov stresses that these countries are not equipped to handle the treatment and recovery for all of those rapidly consumed by drugs.
The world is like a spider web, where one tug is felt by the entire planet. Now is the time to focus on finding strategies for proper treatment and recovery of individuals worldwide.