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1. New Zealand|
There are two ways you can look at the drug problem in New Zealand. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that this island nation had the most people per capita seeking treatment for drug abuse. That’s certainly a sign that the drug problem is real in New Zealand, but it’s also a sign that the country is taking a proactive approach toward dealing with it.
Much is made about how happy the people of Iceland are, but little is made of the drug problem there. When it comes to cannabis, Iceland is in the top 10 of users per capita in the entire world. But, that doesn’t tell the whole tale, especially with international attitudes toward cannabis softening. What does tell the tale is that Iceland was ranked as having the most drug overdoses per capita in the world…
While you might not want to think about it or believe it, alcohol definitely needs to be considered a drug. And, there are few places on Earth where the problem of alcoholism is more prevalent than it is in Russia. When it comes to other hard drugs, though, Russia barely rates… Except, of course, when you include opiates and non-prescription opioids, in which case Mother Russia finds itself in the top ten on both counts.
If you were going to guess which country in the world has the highest number of cocaine users per capita, which country would you guess? You’d probably go with one of those South American countries where the narco cartels reign, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be way off! UNODC found that Scotland, in fact, is home to the highest number of cocaine users per capita in the entire world. Who’d have thought that?
This South American country, which will be playing host to the 2016 Summer Olympics, is also in the top 10 countries for cocaine use. However, cocaine use pales in comparison to the use of another drug called Oxi, due to the latter’s cheapness and availability. Oxi (also known as Rust) is a home-brew mix of various things including cocaine and kerosene that has hallucinogenic properties.
You might not suspect it, but Canada is home to a population that doesn’t mind toking a bit of the ganga every now and again. In fact, nearly half the population admits to having smoked the reefer at one point or another. Of course, pot smoking isn’t a big deal up north. However, landing on the top 10 for both prescription opioid and prescription stimulant use should be a cause for raised eyebrows.
When it comes to the use and abuse of pure opiates, Afghanistan is at the top of the list worldwide. This, of course, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the big cash crop for Afghanistan has long been poppy, from which the opiates are derived. While international efforts have been aimed at stemming the opiate business in Afghanistan, such efforts have had only middling success as yet…
8. The United Kingdom
If it seemed obvious that a place like Russia would make this list due to the use of alcohol in that country, then perhaps the United Kingdom making this list for the same reason doesn’t seem so obvious. Surveys have shown that just a tick of fifty percent of both men and women in the United Kingdom drink to excess at least once a week. If those aren’t sobering statistics, then we don’t know what are!
9. The United States
In the past, the United States drug war was one that was seemingly waged against things like cocaine and cannabis, resulting in nearly 50% of all United States prisoners being in jail for drug-related offences. Now, the problem is clearly different, with the over-prescription of opioids leading to a heroin epidemic.
Things are no better on the United State’s southern border. Naturally, the work of Mexican drug cartels is what captures international headlines, but what gets lost in the mix is how prevalent meth addiction has become there. Recent estimates have suggested that up to 4% of Mexico’s population may be actively using meth, a truly staggering figure.
The prescription opioid epidemic in the United States has garnered international headlines, perhaps obscuring the fact that Australia has been dealing with a similar problem of its own. There, more than 3% of the adult population is currently using such drugs, a stark figure that’s still much less than the 6% who are using such drugs in the United States. Like in the United States, though, this has lead to a rise in non-prescription opioid abuse. Australia is second on that list…
12. El Salvador
The meth problem is Mexico is also spilling into nearby countries, where it’s becoming even more acute. In fact, El Salvador currently finds itself on the top of the list for countries experience the highest use of amphetamine-like substances (meth) in the entire world. This is only made worse by the availability of “designer drugs” like bath salts, which have been flooding the market in El Salvador and elsewhere.
Given how conservative the regime is in Iran, and how the country doesn’t even allow the consumption of alcohol, it may surprise you to learn that there’s a drug problem here. This problem has a lot to do with Iran being a “halfway” point between opiate producers in Afghanistan and other markets in the Middle East and in Europe. Currently, UNODC estimates 2% of Iran’s population uses opiates regularly.
In a place where it’s bitterly cold and dark most of the year, we suppose that we can understand the existence of a drug problem in the Netherlands. According to the UNODC, the Netherlands rates in the top 10 of countries where adults use the popular party drug Ecstasy. In fact, the study found that roughly one in every 100 people use the drug there.
On a list of drugs that are incredibly dangerous but that you might not think about on a day-to-day basis, solvents are definitely at or near the top. Such drugs have immediate effects while also having devastating long-term effects that drug users fail to account for it. When it comes to solvent abuse, Slovakia finds itself at the top of the heap, with 13-percent per capita engaging in the use of them.
Second only to Scotland in the use of cocaine, Spain’s population uses the white powder at a clip of just over 2% per capita. But, that’s not the only drug that’s gained popularity in the country. In fact, the UNODC study found that Spain was in the top-10 world wide for cannabis use, with 9 in every 100 adults in the country using the drug at least modestly.