Australia has the highest proportion of recreational drug users in the world, according to a recent report from the United Nations.
The United Nations’ World Drug Report 2014 has revealed that Australian citizens have the highest rate of ecstasy use in the world, coming in second for opioids such as codeine and morphine, third for the use of methamphetamines, fourth for cocaine use and seventh for cannabis use.
There is a wide range of … new psychoactive substances currently available in the Australian illicit drug market
As drug use soars, so does the rate of drug-related deaths according to Dr Alex Wodak from St Vincent’s hospital.
“They’ve been rising steadily for some years,” Dr Wodak told The Daily Telegraph. “There is certainly greater demand for drugs and that is likely because of economic and social conditions. People on one hand have more money to spend and on the other there are more people who are at risk.”
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“Those that are at risk are getting worse because of high unemployment, poor job prospects, lack of optimism.”
According to the report, the use of illicit drugs was more common among Australian men than women, but the non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs was the same for both genders, if not slightly higher amongst women.
Along with New Zealand, Australia also reported an increase of 0.48 tons in heroin seizures from 2011.
Unfortunately, experts believe usage rates are only set to increase in all categories except ecstasy.
“There is a wide range of drug analogues and new psychoactive substances currently available in the Australian illicit drug market,” the report states.
“Expert opinion points to an increase in the consumption of cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens and solvents and inhalants but a decline in the use of ecstasy.”