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Survey Shows Substance Abuse Differences Across Countries

The United States has one of the highest lifetime rates of tobacco and alcohol use and contributed a large percentage to the cases of marijuana and cocaine use. This was one of the findings in a survey that was conducted by the research consortium of the World Health Organization. The study was headed by Dr. Louisa Degenhardt of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and included seventeen countries from the six WHO regions – the Americas, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Oceania. It was partly funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institutes of Health.

According to NIH director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, the results of the survey offers a deeper understanding of substance abuse all over the world and manifests the fact that it is still a major health concern in the United States. The study also proves that much work should still be done as far as finding more effective prevention techniques and intervention process are concerned.

However, it is important to note that the survey that covered lifetime use of various substances is still considered a mere generalization and is not designed to offer a view of the entire issue. “For example, although lifetime use of tobacco was reported by this study to be 74% in the US, current use has been documented at approximately 30%. This survey may reflect a longer history of drug use in certain countries relative to others but not necessarily current trends.”

The study also found that drug use is growing more popular over time and that males are more likely have tried most, if not all drug types than females. This particular finding applies to all countries surveyed and all age groups concerned. According to the study, the younger adult group has a higher tendency for drug abuse as they are more likely to access these substances. Legal and illegal drug abuse is also more prevalent in groups with higher incomes. Alcohol use is also more prevalent in most of the participants from the Americas, Europe, Japan and New Zealand. In fact, more people from European countries have been found to use alcohol as early as fifteen years.

Learn more about the trends in addiction treatment and recovery here at the Miramar Recovery Centers. We aim to provide innovative approaches to rehabilitation by staying on top of current trends in the industry. Call our 24-hour helpline at 800-455-1092 for more inquiries.

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