For thousands of years, drugs have been a fundamental part of culture, society, and the human experience. Even as we zip into the current age of technological growth and boundless information, a surprising amount of the world is still viewed through a mind-altered haze. Statistics on the worlds drug use provides interesting insight into how we view these habitsand how we try to tackle abuse of these substances.

Using data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),Recovery Brandshascreated some incredibleinfographics and an interactive mapthat detail the many globaltrends of drug use and thesubsequent treatment of users.

Maybe unsurprisingly, they show that the worlds drug of choice is marijuana. Apart from El Salvador and a handful of Southeast Asian countries, marijuana is every countrys most consumed drug by the proportion of users. The biggest stoners of the world appear to reside in Iceland, with an estimated 18.3 percent of adults reported as users. This was closely followed by the United States (14.8 percent).

Image credit: Recovery Brands

The drugs that result in the highest number of people receiving treatment for addictionare opioids a group of drugs including heroin, opium, and prescription opiods to relieve pain. The reason for this is a mixture of the drugs’ addictive properties andtheir accessibility. The highest rates of opioid treatment are seen across Central Asia, where the majority of the worlds heroin poppies are grown.

Iceland, the United States, and Australia have the most reported drug overdoses. But as Recovery Brand points out, this statistic is perhaps more indicative of underreporting than how heavy each countrys drug usage is. Most of Africa and much of Asia and South America haveno statistics.

The countries that had the highest amount of people treated for drugs were New Zealand, Iran, and the United States. However, this perhaps says more about the cultural attitudes towards drugs rather than the amount of people who need treatment. For example, New Zealand is heralded for aggressively addressing drug-related issues, reportedly spending $120 million NZD (~$80 million USD)a year to treat drug addictions thats around $27 NZD ($19 USD) spenton every person.

New Zealands take on drugs is perhaps best revealedby this graph, which showsthe rates of treatment against the percent of prisoners on drug-related charges. While most countries follow a steady correlation, New Zealand, Australia and Iceland show far higher rates of treatment compared to those they lock up.America and its war on drugs is often thought to involveaggressiveand law-based attacks on drug abuse. However, while it does have a high percentage of prisoners on drug charges, they have a proportionally high rate of drug-abuse treatment, too.

Image credit: Recovery Brands

Check out Recovery Brand’s website for more insightinto these statistics.

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