Addiction is a disease of the nervous system, which we are not all affected by equally, which often has grave consequences. Surely, one of the most serious problems a person can face in life is an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or sometimes both. If nothing is put in place for a recovery, it is more than just fatality that will enter the life of the dependent person.
According to the NSDUH, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 20 million American adult, battle with a substance use disorder each year (This is based on the latest data in 2022, from statistics on the year 2017). Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with some kind of alcohol use disorder as well.
But don’t be fooled by thinking that the USA is out of the norm! In France there are 130,000 deaths per year due to alcohol and tobacco (more than forty times the amount of road deaths.)
Generally speaking, cannabis is by far the most widely used illicit substance, 10 times more than cocaine or ecstasy and 27 times more than heroin. That information is according to the OFDT (French observatory for drugs and drug addiction).
According to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol abuse leads to more than 3.3 million deaths per year worldwide. Young people are the most affected.
Worldwide, 27 million people are affected by various addictions, which is more than the population of a country like Australia. The results are shocking.
A global threat
The UNODC report reports worrying figures both in terms of drug production and the increase in cases of death by overdose. The UNODC World Drug Report notably reports a significant increase in deaths linked to opiate overdoses.
The problem is also beginning to grow in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, where the consumption of Tramadol without medical justification, particularly among the most vulnerable populations, is becoming a serious concern. "The substance has not yet come under international control, so people who use it recreationally perceive it as a way to increase their energy and improve their emotional state," the report said.
On a European scale and in the rest of the world, there is a major public health problem, with multiple health, medical and social impacts: alcohol, anxiolytics, cannabis, cocaine, online games, etc.
Addictions, another collateral damage of Covid-19
It should be noted that the pandemic period has actually worsened the situation, especially among people who already have uncontrolled consumption. Lockdown has created an unprecedented context in terms of the consumption of psychoactive products, given the isolation and loneliness that people feel. The crisis caused by Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the mental health and morale of people, raising fears of an increase in addictive behavior and of all these figures being revised upwards. Health professionals are sounding the alarm... But will it be heard?