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200 Million People Use Illicit Drugs Worldwide

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A new report revealed that illcit drug use is a major problem across the world. In fact, Australian researchers found that nearly 200 million people use marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, and opioids each year. That surmounts to 1 out of 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64 that use illicit drugs every year. Furthermore, these estimates do not include the number of people who use hallucinogenics, inhalants, anabolic steroids, and benzodiazepines.

The researchers derived their numbers through a review of published studies and found that up to 39 million people are considered problem users. Moreover, the use of illicit drugs was more profound in developed countries. The researchers noted that the use of illicit drugs is especially problematic considering the stigma attached to drug use and the consequences that stem from getting caught.

Ilicit drug use is tied to serious health effects such as accidental overdosing, long-term organ damage, injury and intoxication and can ultimately lead to death. Interestingly, the study also found that the health problems related to illicit drug use were similar to those caused by alcohol use in developed countries but were less severe than those caused by tobacco use.