What is an addiction? What are drug addiction facts and statistics? What are the causes of addiction? How does addiction manifest? What is the addict looking for? Why do young people take drugs? How can this link between adolescence and addiction be explained? How to prevent mental health and addiction problems? These are the questions on which this article will focus.
In a few years, addiction has become one of the major public health problems and a major social issue.
Prevention and treatment of addictions must be given priority. Every adult is concerned and information and sensitization actions must involve families as well as teachers, educators, facilitators, associations and health professionals: Reasons, effects and risks of taking drugs, attitudes to adopt to prevent addictive behavior and to help and guide drug addicts.
*** Drug Addiction Facts And Statistics
Did you know? There is :
– 27 million addicts worldwide
Drug addiction is defined as physical dependence on a substance, a disease that can be particularly destructive. Worldwide, 27 million people are affected, more than the population of a country like Australia.
– 230 million people used an illicit drug in 2010
According to an official United Nations report, 230 million people, or 5% of the world’s adult population, have used an illicit drug at least once during 2010.
– About 190,000 people died from illicit drugs in 2010
Drug addiction can lead to death, as shown in the UN report. In 2010, there were between 99,000 and 253,000 deaths due to illicit drugs.
– The cocaine market represents more than 88 billion dollars
According to estimates, the cocaine market is worth more than $ 88 billion. It is indeed the most consumed stimulant around the world.
– 280 000 hectares of razed forests between 2001 and 2013 in Colombia between 2001 and 2013
Coca leaf, which is needed for cocaine production, is only grown in three countries: Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. In Colombia alone, 280 hectares of forest were razed in 2001 and 2013 to cultivate it, which is equivalent to the size of a country like Luxembourg.
– Between 60,000 and 100,000 deaths between 2006 and 2012 in Mexico
In Mexico, where drugs are sent from producing countries to large consumers like the United States or Canada, a merciless war pits drug traffickers against the police. A conflict that killed between 60,000 and 120,000 people between 2006 and 2012.
– 1,430,000,000 cocaine rails are snorted each year
Each year, an estimated 1,430,000,000 cocaine rails are snorted around the world. The most consumer countries of this substance are Scotland, Spain and the United States.
– One gram of cocaine has an average of 75 Euros
Cocaine is one of the most expensive drugs: 1 gram costs about 75 Euros or 75,000 Euros per kilogram.
– The opiate market is worth $ 65 billion
Opiates are substances derived from opium, produced from the poppy. They include heroin, morphine or codeine. The opiate market is worth $ 65 billion.
– 7,000 tons of opium were produced in 2011
The main opium producing country is Afghanistan with 90% of production, compared to 10% in Burma. In 2011, no less than 7,000 tonnes of opium were produced.
– One in five people in addiction treatment is a woman
Across the world, only one in five drug users in treatment is a woman, while they account for one-third of drug users. This can be explained by the type of drugs used: men are more likely to take amphetamines or cocaine, while women are more likely to consume prescription opiates (just as dangerous to health), or even tranquilizers.
– 144 tons of amphetamine-type drugs were seized in 2011 and 2012
In 2011 and 2012, 144 tons of amphetamine-type synthetic drugs were seized worldwide. A figure that has doubled compared to 2009, and which remains today at a high level.
– One gram of cannabis costs around 6.5 Euros
Regarded as a soft drug, cannabis is produced in many countries around the world; there are even countries where its consumption is legal, as in the Netherlands for example. One gram of cannabis costs about 6.5 Euros.
– In France, 48% of French 17-year-olds have tried cannabis
According to the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT), 48% of French 17-year-olds have tested cannabis, 9% of them are regular smokers.
– 6 million people die from tobacco each year
There are 1.3 billion smokers in the world. Every year, no less than 6 million people die because of cigarettes.
– In the twentieth century, 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco
During the twentieth century, 100 million people died because of their addiction to tobacco, an addiction that can lead to a significant number of diseases, such as lung cancer or throat.
– In the 21st century, 1 billion people can die from tobacco
1 billion people are at risk of dying from tobacco addiction in the 21st century if the smoking trend remains unchanged.
– Of 10 babies born today, 3 are likely to become smokers
According to the statistics, of the 10 babies born today, 3 will become smokers and 2 will smoke all their lives. Worse still, one of them will die because of the cigarette.
– In 2012, 3.3 million people died because of alcohol in the world
Although it is, like tobacco, a legal substance in many countries, alcohol is particularly deadly. In 2012, 3.3 million people died from alcoholism or 5.9% of deaths.
– 200 diseases are linked to alcohol consumption
Alcoholism in itself does not kill, it is especially the diseases that it generates that are deadly. Approximately 200 diseases are linked to alcohol consumption, including many liver diseases and cancers.
These disturbing figures prove how much the authorities must take action to counter drug-related problems. Steps are being taken, but it is clear that they are not really effective.
Through these statistics, you have an idea of the phenomenal extent of addiction. But what are drug addiction facts?
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Integrated Approaches to Drug and Alcohol Problems: Action on addiction
Edited by Willm Mistral
Integrated Approaches to Drug and Alcohol Problems: Action on Addiction provides a pathway through the field of addiction, giving a clear description of points along that path, from the beginning of problematic use of drugs and alcohol to treatment, support, recovery, and reintegration in society.
I – Drug Addiction Facts
Drug addiction (from Greek: toxikon, “poison” and mania, “madness”) refers to a physical and/or psychological dependence of one or more exogenous chemical substances, usually toxic (analgesic, stimulants and other psychotropic drugs) without therapeutic justification. It is currently a question of addictions in the plural because consumption practices have evolved on the side of polytoxicomania (alcohol, drugs, various drugs, synthetic or natural, etc.). Uses evolve towards an uncontrollable need to continue to consume the product, accompanied by addiction and dependence.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as “a state of physical or mental dependence or both, with respect to a product and establishing itself in a subject and following periodic use or continue from it “.
Drug addiction, therefore, represents alienation, a certain deprivation of liberty since the drug addict is deeply dependent on his drug. The WHO even prefers the term “drug addiction”, that of “drug dependence”.
In other words, addiction is an abuse of substances, for example, alcohol, tobacco, amphetamines, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, hallucinogens, LSD, methadone, etc., or physical or psychological dependence on these substances. Addiction is associated with mental health, but is not considered a “mental illness”.
It should be noted that the scheme remains the same: the substances are first used for pleasure or to calm a pain (physical or moral). Then the substances are taken by dependence.
This is due to addiction (it is necessary to increase the doses to have the same effect) and by dependence (the absence of product becomes unbearable).
Drug addiction has serious consequences for health, but also social (desocialization), financial (products are expensive) and legal (because of the consumption of illicit substances)
Polytoxicomania is the addiction to several substances at the same time.
II – What Are the Causes of Drug Addiction?
First and foremost, we find that people use alcohol or drugs for a variety of reasons, such as relaxing, decreasing inhibitions, religious practices, or joining a group. Often, they do not develop a problem of consumption. However, consumption becomes problematic when it has adverse consequences and there is a loss of control. These issues need to be addressed and can be addressed.
Gambling problems are gambling habits (whether the person engages in games of chance or skill) that have adverse effects on work, studies or other activities, mental or physical health, financial status, reputation or relationships with family or friends.
Problems related to mental health can be caused by:
– living conditions;
– a biochemical imbalance in the brain;
– socio-economic status;
– coming from a country torn by war;
– a physical health problem;
– leaving one’s native land and family;
– racism etc.
It is important to consult a medical professional as soon as possible to help identify the source of the problem.
III – How Does Addiction Manifest Itself?
– The addict is unable to do without a product or a substance. He is in a state of dependence on the effects of the drug.
– His body adapts to the effects of a drug to the point that it is necessary to increase the doses to achieve effects of constant magnitude: it is tolerance.
– The state resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug causes the wish to prolong its use: it is habituation.
Withdrawal is the deprivation of the product or products to which the addict is accustomed. He is in “state of lack”.
When the toxic substance is brutally suppressed in a dependent subject, more or less violent physical manifestations are produced, as well as often profound psychological discomfort.
Thus, weaning must be done under medical supervision, gradually, in order to eliminate the effects of tolerance and addiction caused by drug addiction.
IV – What Is the Addict Looking For?
What is an addict? There are several types of drug users:
– Occasional users sometimes called “recreational”, which have not completely lost their freedom in relation to the product.
– Drug addicts, who have a relationship of complete dependence with their drugs and whose daily life is focused on the research and use of the product.
The effects sought by the absorption of toxic substances are of three kinds directly related to the type of drug:
– Stimulants provoke psychological excitement, cheerfulness, the feeling of sometimes violent physical tension.
– Sedatives trigger physical relaxation, soothing, falling asleep.
– Hallucinogens modify perceptions, visual sensations, olfactory, auditory…
V – Why Do Young People Take Drugs?
Around the world, young people are more affected by drug addiction, especially drugs. And we wonder why?
Addiction is a symptom of profound discomfort. “It is the meeting of a product, an individual and a society” (Professor Claude Olievenstein).
Just as there are many types of drugs and effects sought, there are many families or social contexts at the root of addictive behavior.
It can be caused by:
– the curiosity that often drives to try the drug, the fashion, the pressure of the group,
– the fascination of the taboo, the forbidden,
– the rejection of traditional values: Young people may be scandalized by the contradictions they observe between the main principles (non-violence, justice, respect for man …) and everyday reality.
– flight from suffering, loneliness, difficulties to live, the anxiety of tomorrow.
– the difficulties of adolescence, which are sometimes expressed by alternative behavior: parental dependence is replaced by drug dependence …
VI – How Can This Link Between Adolescence and Addiction Be Explained?
Adolescence is fundamentally characterized by a crisis that appears more and earlier (from 10-12 years) and lasts longer and longer (up to 24-25 years). This period is marked by profound physical and psychological upheavals and is manifested by a revolt, a sometimes violent opposition to the parental, school, institutional models.
This is the “normal” teenage crisis.
It is useful in the structuring of the personality and necessary for the passage to the adult stage. She asks that adults be present to help, listen, guide but also limit and manifest their love.
When this crisis unfolds badly we speak of “pathological” adolescent crisis.
This often results from a deficiency in the environment of the adolescent who finds no one to effectively perform the role of listening, advice, guide and bring him the love he expects.
Therefore, either he does not react and risks settling in the mental illness, or the suffering incites him to pass to the act, violent reactions against the others or against himself: among them, addictive behaviors.
*** What Are the Warning Signs?
The diversity of behaviors that translate a discomfort, a teenager is very great.
Schematically, there are early signs and late symptoms.
– Affective disorders (turbulence, excitement, sadness, anxiety, excessive fears, isolation, self-evaluation …).
– Disorders of sleep (very difficult falling asleep, insomnia, incessant awakenings, nightmares or on the contrary hypersomnia, somnolence daytime).
– Disturbed food behavior (anorexia, bulimia, spontaneous vomiting …).
– Psychosomatic disorders (headaches, tetany attacks, severe fatigue, stomachaches, fear of illness).
– Academic difficulties (lowering of results, absenteeism, delays, phobia or school failure).
The Late Signs:
– Delinquency (vandalism, fights, theft, fugue …).
– Suicide attempts (acting out or death ideas, suicidal speech …).
VII – How to Prevent Mental Health and Addiction Problems?
You can adopt a lifestyle and habits that will allow you to deal with several problems and even prevent a problem from getting worse. Among others, we quote:
– Participate in community activities
– Adopt a well-balanced diet
– Sleep enough
– Do physical activity regularly
– Avoid using illegal drugs and alcohol
– Join an interest group (such as a book club at your local library)
– Talk regularly about your concerns with your loved ones
– Become a volunteer
– Take a hike in the open air
No one is immune to mental problems. But newcomers are the most at risk as anxiety grows because of the many challenges that come with integration and settlement in a foreign environment. Be sure! You are not alone. If you or a loved one suffers, you have access to a variety of services in complete confidentiality.
When an addict shows signs of acute intoxication with physical and mental dependence, the withdrawal treatment (in a medical setting) proves indispensable; it must be accompanied by a process of active participation on the part of the person concerned.
This is a first step that can be followed by a period of aftercare in a specialized center, intended to make the link with the return to a life without dependence. Young users of drugs, light, casual or tempted by it, make a call, express their difficulty to live. For them, it is necessary to favor access to reception and listening places.
Addiction treatment is often long and difficult, especially for those around you.
A global approach must be undertaken (general practitioner, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, and social services …) to provide the best possible help.
Substitution treatments are possible, mainly to avoid symptoms related to withdrawal (Subutex, Methadone, nicotine replacement …)
Periods of detoxification treatments are also possible if the patient is voluntary.