Drugs in the United States
Global illegal drug use is expected to rise by 25% over the next few decades as rapid urbanization, industrialization, and population growth in developing countries fuel the demand for illegal substances. The report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), which underlines the fight against drug abuse with data on the consumption and production of illegal substances, also projects that developing countries will shoulder the burden of the global drug problem in the coming decades.
Roughly 230 million people have used an illegal drug at least once in 2010. In 2010, 5% of the world adult population aged 15-64 used illegal drugs at least once. Problem drug users, who mainly depend on cocaine and heroin, make up an estimated 0.6% of the world adult population, amounting to roughly 27 million. Every year, approximately 200,000 people worldwide die from drug abuse.
The global number of illegal drug users will go up by 25% by 2050. If the annual prevalence of illegal drug use stays stable at 5% of the adult population over the next few decades, demographic trends indicate that the total number of illicit drug users will increase by a quarter by 2050, which is in proportion to world population growth. Although the current rate of 5% might appear like a small proportion of the world’s adult population, if this rate continues, there may be some extra 65 million illegal drug users by 2050 compared to 2009-2010.
The increase in illicit drug use will be most pronounced in developing countries. Drug use is linked to urbanization. With the urban population of developing countries expected to double between 2011 and 2050, they will see a marked increase in the demand for drugs. In other words, the burden of the global drug