4 Countries Reigning the Illegal Drug Market

Every addict knows that abusing drugs is like entering a whirlpool of perils that can be life-threatening. In spite of knowing the reality, people follow the motto of “ignorance is bliss” and continue indulging in drugs, ignoring its consequences. What follows is a continuous craving for the drug, absence of which drives an individual to insanity.

As famous author and preacher Cornelius Plantinga once said: “At every stage, addiction is driven by one of the most powerful, mysterious, and vital forces of human existence. What drives addiction is longing- a longing not just of brain, belly, or loins but finally of the heart.”

Drug addiction is fueled by the enormous presence of drugs across the world. It is like a race among countries for making drugs available to the consumers. According to the World Drug Report 2015 (WDR), published by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), an estimated 246 million people worldwide, or one out of 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64 years, used an illicit drug in 2013. More than one out of 10 drug users suffer from drug use disorders or drug dependence.

Some of the countries that are betting big in the drug market are:

United States: According to the WDR 2015, within the North American region, the United States has one of the highest drug-related mortality rate worldwide, which is 4.6 times more than the global average. Around 40,239 drug-related deaths were recorded in 2013, equivalent to one in five drug-related deaths globally. Currently, the U.S. is battling an opioid epidemic and there has been a 200 percent increase in opioid overdose death rate since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prescription pills, apart from other drugs, are also majorly responsible for overdose deaths in the country.

Mexico: Instead of being a consumer, Mexico was more into drug production and distribution. Infamous for its drug cartels, it used to fulfill the insatiable appetite of its neighboring countries, including the U.S. According to the Global Synthetic Drug Assessment Report 2014, published by the UNODC, methamphetamine seizures have been increasing in Mexico and 2011 and 2012 saw record number of seizures. However, as methamphetamine consumption increased in the U.S, its effect was felt in Mexico as well. Influenced by the U.S., even Mexicans started taking methamphetamine, with the problem escalating to such a level that Mexico’s methamphetamine problem has become a serious concern today. Children as young as nine in the Mexican city of Durango are crystal meth addicts, according to recent reports by the Daily Mail.

United Kingdom: Alcohol is one of the gravest problems in the U.K. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the U.K. had 8,697 alcohol-related deaths in 2014, i.e., 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Around 65 percent alcohol-related deaths in the U.K. are among males. Britain’s binge drinking levels are among the highest in the world. Some 10 percent of the country’s burden of disease and death can be attributed to alcohol.

Iran: Located between Europe and Afghanistan, Iran is the midpoint of the trafficking routes used for carrying a large amount of opium and heroin. Quoting Gen. Ali Moayedi, head of Iran’s anti-narcotics police, some news reports published in 2013 said that around 30 drug smugglers and addicts were identified and arrested every hour in Iran, and around 2,835 pounds of drugs were confiscated each day. Iran’s internal problem with heroin has also been a matter of concern in the country.