Published On: Wed, May 13th, 2015

Substance Abuse and Addiction: Global Issues

It’s no secret that the United States is in the midst of a drug epidemic. From the rising popularity of prescription medications to an increased use of drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, rates of substance abuse and addiction in the US are alarmingly high. And while drug abuse flourishes here at home, it does the same in other areas of the world. For example, countries like the following report high rates of addiction, some of which even surpass those found in the United States.


Like the United States, France is in the midst of a nationwide battle with prescription medications. With cheap drugs (on average, French drugs cost roughly half as much as they do in the United States), accommodating doctors and more pharmacies than any other European country, it’s easy to see why prescription drug abuse is flourishing. The most widely-abused drugs in France include tranquilizers and painkillers, both of which are extremely addictive, and are associated with a high rate of overdose and other complications.

Thankfully, while prescription drugs are readily available in France, treatment options are plentiful; nearly all of the 100 administrative regions have at least one drug treatment center, and French citizens typically have a choice of inpatient or outpatient care. However, without a larger effort to crack down on prescription drug abuse, addiction will remain a serious problem.

Public domain photo/Naturally via Wikimedia Commons

Public domain photo/Naturally via Wikimedia Commons


With numerous cartels and its very own “war on drugs,” Mexico ranks high on the list of countries with growing substance abuse problems. And, in addition to drug abuse among its citizens, Mexico is a major supplier of illicit drugs to the United States, and serves as a drug trafficking route between Latin America and the US. Indeed, when it comes to drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, the vast majority make it to the states via Mexican drug trafficking routes, all of which are controlled by various cartels. This means that, until the Mexican government can put an end to cartel-related crime, Mexico will remain a hotbed of illegal drug activity. (Source)


While Russia has always had a high rate of alcoholism, recent trends point to an even bigger problem with illicit drugs. By and large, Russia’s drug epidemic centers around highly-addictive opiate drugs, including heroin, morphine, codeine and methadone, many of which are used intravenously. In turn, communicable diseases like HIV and hepatitis C are rampant, with Russia claiming over half of all cases of HIV in the European region. As it stands now, roughly 2.5 million Russian citizens use addictive drugs, with a large percentage exposing themselves to deadly disease, addiction and other complications.


Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world. Extracted from poppy plants, which are indigenous to the region, opium can be used in its natural form, or in the manufacture of heroin and other narcotic drugs. Because opium is so available, as many as 1.5 million Afghan citizens, including young adults and even children, are addicted to narcotic drugs. And though efforts to curb opium production have been made, most have been completely ineffective.

What’s more, treatment is scarce, especially in the rural regions where addiction rates reach staggering heights. And until opium production is curbed, or effective treatment is made available to struggling Afghan citizens, drug problems in the region will continue to rise.

Substance abuse and addiction are global issues. And even with serious efforts in place to halt the production, trafficking and use of addictive drugs, the problem seems to be growing, exponentially. Thankfully, by making the personal choice to abstain from addictive substances, or to seek treatment for a current problem, we can all make a difference.

So, if you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of addiction, get help today, and do your part in putting an end to this global crisis.

Source: http://rehab-international.org/drug-addiction/issues-drug-abuse-latin-america

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About the Author

- Adam Lee is a financial writer who has insightful knowledge in dealing with different financial issues. He tries to help people to get out of difficult financial situations by contributing financial write ups to websites and blogs such as Moneyforlunch.com and Moneynewsnow.com

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