Cocaine and Heroin: Global Addictions

Cocaine and Heroin: Global Addictions

In Addiction, Article by Tree House Recovery

Drug trafficking is a major concern for the United States in general, but the 2018 World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that certain drugs, like cocaine and heroin, are becoming a major, world-wide issue. Of substance-use related deaths, opioids were found to constitute 76% of them – making this a major public health concern. If you haven’t been able to keep up with world news lately, understanding the impact that drugs can have is a fantastic way to gain inspiration for advocacy in recovery and support. According to CNN News, approximately 275 million people worldwide ages 15-64 years old used drugs at least once in 2016 – while prescription drugs can be life-enhancing, they can also be addictive, with more people abusing prescription, illicit, and recreational drugs more than we’d like to admit at times.

As the report states, global cocaine manufacturing reached the highest level it’s ever been, with 1,410 tons being produced around the globe. Which countries have the heaviest production? Columbia, Africa, and Asia are major contributors. In addition, global opium production increased by 65% to 10,500 tons – prosperous fields in Afghanistan were major contributors. Here is a simple breakdown of drug use amongst various populations:

  • Young people are most likely to experience harm associated with drug use, as compared to older people. Cannabis is the drug of choice for young people, but it also largely depends on economic status.
  • Drug use among older generations is increasing quite quickly, and more mental and physical issues are arising because of it – ultimately, this is making their recovery more challenging.
  • Men are more likely to struggle with drug use than women, but women typically start drug use later on in life and actually catch up to men in drug dependency, if not at higher rates

Thomas Pietschmann, one of the lead authors of the report and research expert at UNODC, told CNN News“We need ongoing improvement of prevention and treatment. It is there, but only a small proportion of people that need treatment get treatment. This has been an ongoing problem and it’s still there.”

The report states that only 79 countries have a needle and syringe program as well as opioid substitution therapy. Overall, more needs to be done – and this crisis needs everyone involved.

Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474