Drug and Alcohol Addiction Around the World
The focus has always been on drug and alcohol addiction trends in America. Currently, we are going through a massive opiate epidemic that is taking lives and bringing entire communities down. But what about the rest of the world?
It’s a great big world out there, but as Americans, we tend to look at what is going on close to home. It’s only natural, but the fact of the matter is that there is a lot of addiction going on in other places around the world.
Because of different cultural norms, and access to different substances, the commonly abused drugs in different countries varies significantly. It is interesting to see how people are doing in other parts of the world, and also what they are doing about it.
Drugs Around the World
We’re used to what we know when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction in America, but what about the rest of the world? Here’s a look at what is being abused in the top drug and alcohol addicted countries of the world.
U.S.A. – Prescription Pills
Starting with the US, it is no secret that drug and alcohol addiction are a big problem in today’s society. It is estimated that almost 18 million people have a problem with drugs and alcohol. This leads to more crime, more accidents, more people in jail, and more lives ruined.
Of all the drugs in America, the number one abused drug is prescription medication. Wondering how that could be? The answer is simple: doctors. About twenty years ago, pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing supposedly non-addictive pain killers and were encouraged to put an end to the pain problem in America.
What people didn’t know back then is that those medications were in fact extremely addictive. Over the course of time that has lapsed since then, millions of people are using and abusing these medications. They are known as opioids, which is in the same family as heroin. Often, prescription opioid abuse leads to heroin.
Canada – Marijuana
Starting with our northern neighbors, Canada is leading the pack when it comes to marijuana use. About half of all residents say they have used marijuana in their lifetime, and most people who use marijuana are students. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, more than half of students in grade 12 have used marijuana in the past year.
Marijuana use may not be considered as dangerous as other drugs like heroin and cocaine, but it has addictive qualities and can significantly affect a person’s world. Many people try to quit on their own and can’t and need to seek treatment. They may also find that when they quit marijuana, they feel intense anxiety and depression.
Just because it is natural does not make it safe. Since it is normally smoked, it can make a person more likely to develop lung cancer and other breathing-related issues.
Mexico – Meth
Moving on to our neighbors to the south, Mexico’s biggest drug-use related problem is meth. Mexico’s meth addiction is considered one of the worst drug problems in the world. It is well-known that Mexico is a huge player in the drug world. Their cartels have taken over towns in Mexico and run them to the ground. They have turned old vacation destinations into battlegrounds. Mexican meth “super labs” aren’t helping.
Mexico is producing more and more meth each year, and with that addiction is rising as well. Currently, it is estimated that about 400,000 of their population has used meth at least once. Meth is a highly addictive drug related to cocaine that is extremely addicting and can cause major physical and emotional damage.
UK – Alcohol
The UK is well-known for its love for drinking, but that still doesn’t make it safe. It is estimated that more than one and a half million people are dependent on alcohol in England. Even more surprising is that almost as many women – more than half- as men are abusing alcohol.
Alcohol is widely accepted throughout the world, with England being no exception. “Safe” drinking is considered only one drink for women and two for men, with anything above that meaning the person is drinking in excess. Alcohol abuse can cause many health problems. It also can cause legal problems, it can cause a person to lose their jobs and family, and even their self-respect.
Brazil – Oxi
Despite what you may think, this is not the same “oxi” as we think of when we hear it, oxycodone. This version is a mix of terrible things like cocaine and gasoline and is extremely tough on the body and causes hallucination. It is known as “Oxi” but its real name is oxidado, and it is taking over the streets of Brazil.
According to a news report, oxi is a drug that terrifies Brazilian authorities because it is new to the market, cheap, and much more lethal than other street drugs. Oxi is sometimes referred to as the “drug of death” and is extremely lethal and bad for the body. Laboratories of the drug exist in Brazil, and local police enforcement is trying their best to crack down.
Drugs Exist in Every Population
Unfortunately, almost anywhere you go, you’ll find people who are into and suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s a worldwide problem that has been around for a thousand years, and it will take a lot of work to eliminate it completely.