Rise in Global Number of Illicit Drug Users
According to last year’s World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), the global number of illicit drug users is likely to increase by 25% in 2012. The expected increase in the number of users poses a serious challenge to health authorities all over the world. The report has also highlighted the fact that there is a pressing need to make opiate addiction treatment easily accessible to people.
As per the report, the biggest growth in drug addiction is likely to occur in rapidly growing urban populations of developing countries. Let’s take a look at some of the major findings of the report-
- 25% rise in the global number of illicit drug users by 2050
The global number of illicit drug users will increase by a quarter by the year 2050. The increase in the number will be in proportion to world population growth. If the expected growth rate is not reversed, there will be around 65 million more drug users in the world in 2050.
- The number of women drug users will rise
In all parts of the world, the number of men who use illegal drugs is much higher than that of women. Due to social and cultural restrictions, women are less likely to experiment with drugs. However, this is likely to change in the coming years. By 2050, there will be a substantial increase in the number of women drug users.
- The biggest increase in illicit drug use will happen in developing countries
According to the UN report, the biggest increase will occur in urban populations in developing countries. Various studies have linked drug abuse with urbanization. With rapid urbanization in these countries, the problem of drug abuse will increase greatly. To make matters worse, these countries are not well-equipped to handle an increase in drug abuse cases. For this reason, it is important for developing countries to establish some form of opiate addiction treatment centers where the population can reach out for help.
The report has also found that cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) are two of the most popular drugs around the world. Other dangerous drugs such as cocaine and heroin are also popular in all the countries. Taking into account the findings of the report, it has become supremely important for developing as well as developed countries to step up their efforts to arrest the consumption of illegal drugs.