Home / Health / America leads world in prescription painkiller, heroin abuse

America leads world in prescription painkiller, heroin abuse

Drug treatment research and marketing firm Recovery Brands created a map measuring rates of drug treatment cases all over the world using UN numbers.recoverybrands.com

Drug treatment research and marketing firm Recovery Brands created a map measuring rates of drug treatment cases all over the world using UN numbers.

Drug abuse in the U.S. has placed the nation at or near the top of all the wrong lists.

America’s pain pill and heroin addiction exceeds that of all other countries in the world, statistics from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) show.

And only Icelanders suffer more drug overdose deaths and ingest more marijuana than Americans, according to numbers recently crunched by drug treatment research and marketing firm Recovery Brands from UNODC’s 2014 World Drug Report.

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NR kunertus/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A file photo shows pure powdered heroin. UN stats show Americans use opioids like heroin in higher numbers than people in any other country.

Enlarge NR Dmitriy Norov/Getty Images/Vetta

A file photo shows a marijuana plant. Americans get high with weed at the second-highest rate in the world and marijuana is the most popular drug in the world, UN stats show.

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File photos show pure powdered heroin and a marijuana plant. UN stats revealed Americans use opioids like heroin in higher numbers than people in any other country and marijuana is the most popular drug in the world.

Weed ranks as the most popular drug in the world and opioids like heroin, opium and prescription drugs demand the most medical care. The company created maps showing every country’s last measured rates of overdose deaths, drug-related care and treatment for various types of controlled substances.

Opioids led to 42% of drug treatment cases in the U.S. — the most common drug requiring medical care in the country, according to the figures. The nearly 6% of Americans who get high with prescription painkillers and other opioids put the U.S. rate ahead of the less than 4% of Australians in second place.

At rates of more than 14,000 residents out of 1 million, Iran and New Zealand treated the most people for drug abuse and far more than America’s fewer than 7,000 per 1 million residents.

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Recovery Brands also tracked which countries had the highest rates of use for various types of drugs.recoverybrands.com

Recovery Brands also tracked which countries had the highest rates of use for various types of drugs.

On the other hand, Americans’ 195 deaths per 1 million residents puts it in a close second place behind Iceland’s 212 deaths per million. Recovery Brands called overdose deaths “an underreported problem” because all African countries and most Asian and South Asian countries didn’t compile data.

Iceland also ranked ahead of America in cannabis use, with around 18% of people in Iceland toking and roughly 15% of Americans smoking pot. Only people in a few countries such as El Salvador, Thailand and Laos use amphetamine-type stimulants more commonly than marijuana.

Recreational use of weed and pharmaceuticals is rising worldwide, heroin and opium usage remains stable, and cocaine use is falling, according to the numbers from UNODC’s 2015 report.

Roughly 246 million people, or 5% of people aged between 15 and 64, took some type of illicit drug in 2013, the UN’s latest report showed. Researchers counted 27 million people, about half of whom inject their drugs, as problem drug users.

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tsalinger@nydailynews.com

Tags:
united nations ,
health studies ,
drug overdoses

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