Monday February 17, 2020

UN Report: 30% Increase in Drug Usage, 35 Million Suffering from Disorders

The death toll also increased, with 5,85,000 people dying in 2017 from drug use

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health, facebook, depression
Social media users are 63 per cent less likely to experience serious psychological distress from one year to the next, including major depression or serious anxiety. Pixabay

The United Nation’s latest report on drug use revealed a 30 per cent increase on 2009 with regards to the consumption of narcotics with some 35 million people worldwide suffering from drug disorders, thanks to in-depth surveys conducted in India and Nigeria.

The UN has raised the alarm on the need for further international cooperation to deal with the health and criminal impact of substance misuse, the Efe news reported.”

“The findings of this’year’s World Drug Report fill in and further complicate the global picture of drug challenges, underscoring the need for broader international cooperation to advance balanced and integrated health and criminal justice responses to supply and de”and,” Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said.

“With improved research and more precise data from India and Nigeria, both amongst the 10 most populous countries in the world – we see that there are any more opioid users and people with use disorders than previously estimated,” Fedotov added.

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The studies have contributed to more accurate figures of drug use globally. Pixabay

The surveys in India in 2018 and Nigeria in 2017 have offered great insights into drug consumption due to being such vast demographics for their region. India accounts for 30 per cent of the population in Asia alone.

The Indian survey was based on interviews with 5,00,000 people across the nation. The studies have contributed to more accurate figures of drug use globally. The report estimated that of the 271 million people that used any drug, 35 million (nearly 13 per cent) suffer from a disorder.

Previous records fell 4.5 million people short in their estimates and it was the surveys conducted in both India and Nigeria that triggered the adjustment. The death toll also increased, with 5,85,000 people dying in 2017 from drug use.

Cannabis consumption, the most widely used drug globally with approximately 188 million users in 2016, has increased in Asia and North and South America, whilst a spike in use of opioids was registered.

Opioids are the drugs that present the largest cause for concern due to the severe impact on the health of users. Also of concern is the non-medical use of painkiller Tramadol produced in South Asia and trafficked primarily to Africa and the Middle East.

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The report estimated that of the 271 million people that used any drug, 35 million (nearly 13 per cent) suffer from a drug use disorder. VOA

Amongst the negative consequences of drug use, mental health disorders, HIV infection, hepatitis C and overdose are the main concerns, many of which can lead to premature death.

Injecting drugs, mainly opioids, is deemed the most dangerous way of consuming narcotics due to the proliferation of diseases through the sharing of needles. The rate of 15-64 year olds who inject drugs is four times higher in eastern and southeastern Europe and in central Asia.

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According to the report, 50 per cent of those live with hepatitis C. Mortality rates overwhelmingly affect men who account for 72 per cent of those who die as a result of drug use. Sixty-eight per cent of overdose deaths in 2017 were due to opioids.

Most of the world’s opioids are produced in Afghanistan (263,000 hectares of poppy seed production) with Myanmar (37,300 hectares) coming in as the second largest producer amid a decline in consumption in Asia as the demand for synthetic drugs increased, particularly methamphetamine. (IANS)

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Cannabis Usage Common in Adults with Pain Disorders: Study

Cannabis use disorder more common in adults with pain

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Cannabis adults
Researchers have found that non-medical use of cannabis including frequent or problematic use is much more common in adults who have pain than in others. Pixabay

Researchers have found that non-medical use of cannabis including frequent or problematic use is much more common in adults who have pain than in others.

Since 1996, 34 US states have passed medical marijuana laws and 11 states have legalised recreational cannabis use.

Studies indicate that heavy cannabis use increases the risk of vehicle accidents, respiratory and psychiatric symptoms, and cannabis use disorder.

“Despite this evidence, many people view cannabis use as harmless, and non-medical use of cannabis on a daily or near-daily basis has increased,” said study lead author Deborah Hasin from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in the US.

“In our study, we hoped to identify factors–such as pain–that may increase the risk of cannabis use disorder,” Hasin added.

Cannabis adults
66 per cent of adults now view marijuana as beneficial for pain management, the researchers said. Pixabay

For the findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, research team analysed data on marijuana use from the National Epidemiologic Surveys on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013.

The researchers compared non-medical cannabis use patterns in adults with and without pain (approximately 20 per cent of participants in both surveys had moderate to severe pain).

Overall, non-medical marijuana use increased from about four per cent in 2002 to 9.5 per cent in 2013.

In addition, in the most recent survey, those with pain were significantly more likely to engage in frequent non-medical cannabis use than those without pain (5.0 per cent vs. 3.5 per cent).

According to the researchers, the risk of cannabis use disorder was also significantly higher in those with pain (4.2 per cent vs. 2.7 per cent).

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Although meta-analyses of cannabis for treating pain show only mixed efficacy, particularly for plant marijuana, 66 per cent of adults now view marijuana as beneficial for pain management, the researchers said.

“Given that about 20 of the adult population experienced moderate to severe pain, this puts a large group of US adults at risk for frequent non-medical use and cannabis use disorder,” Hasin said. (IANS)