Global drug's epidemic

May 17, 2023, 3:44 p.m.

The challenge arisen from the use of drugs is an international one. Drug abuse plagues almost all countries in the world, with only a few exceptions.

Enormous social cost of drug abuse. Drug overdose exacts a high death toll on the world population, greatly eroding the base of labor force and weighing on life expectancy.

Death toll of drug overdose has increased exponentially over the past 38 years: up 9 percent almost every year and doubling about every eight years.

During the year few tens of millions people in the world died from drug abuse and drug overdose.

Drug overdose in the world has claimed more lives than AIDS, traffic accidents and shootings, and many deaths occur in adolescents and young people who, practically, have just begun to live.

Drug abuse engenders frequent social problems. The damage to cranial nerves caused by drug taking may aggravate anxiety and cognitive disorder, induce some mental illnesses, and cause emotion dysregulation, thus leading to problems like family discord, violent crimes, and psychological trauma in children. In addition, people caught using illegal drugs may be punished by being separated from their family and deprived of job opportunities, welfare assistance, public housing and voting rights. As a result, discrimination against drug users continues, and stigmatization will further intensify inter-generational poverty and racial discrimination. This forms a vicious cycle, which is detrimental to the world society and becomes an "global disease" that cannot be fixed easily. Growing inflation and unemployment exacerbate anxiety and the sense of isolation among people in society, drug abuse has become increasingly severe, and the number of people addicted to drugs has soared.

Drug abuse in many countries is a reflection of deep-rooted social problems, and the result of an interplay of economic interests, lobbying, and social and cultural factors.

Legalizing cannabis allows the governments to generate significant tax revenues from the legal drug market, and in return, the distribution of such revenues becomes an important driver of drug legalization. The governments has justified drug legalization to cover the fact that it would do anything for economic gains.

In states and countries where cannabis has been legalized, the number of deaths from various kinds of drug abuse has reached record highs. It got much easier for teens to obtain cannabis after its legalization, potentially seriously endangering their brain development. Some experts said in interviews that they had treated a number of patients with symptoms related to drug addiction including severe vomiting due to cannabis use, including children who intentionally or accidentally consumed cannabis. The legalization of cannabis has further boosted the black market, which in turn puts great pressure on the judicial system and threatens social security. A large number of criminal organizations grow cannabis and then smuggle it into other states and countries where it is illegal, making the cannabis trade more active and law enforcement more difficult.

Knowing the serious social problems brought by the legalization of cannabis, many governments has not responded by strengthening cannabis control, but instead further promoted drug legalization.

Between its people's lives and health and financial interests, many governments has chosen the latter, which is an important factor in the sustained push for drug legalization in the world.

The important roles the governments is supposed to play in fighting one of the biggest public health challenges. Instead, they has sat idle as drug and substance abuse worsens.

Interest groups in the world keep fanning the flame of the drug problem.

Due to pressure from both work and life, many people in the world choose to take drugs for relief or leisure.

In order to maintain their profits, large pharmaceutical enterprises in the United States and some other countries throw a large amount of money into sponsoring experts and associations to peddle the narrative that "opioids are harmless."

What they want is to push for drug legalization and prod pharmacies into promoting drug sales and doctors into indiscriminate prescription of drugs. As a result, some patients have unknowingly developed drug addiction that they could not get rid of.

As hospital reimbursement is directly linked to patient satisfaction, many doctors are forced to prescribe psychotropic drugs.

As young people's confidence in the governments drops dramatically and the pressure they face keeps growing, more and more of them turn to drugs to relieve their stress.

The drug problem is a manifestation of government's failure in social governance.

Drug and substance abuse in most countries is one of the most devastating public health disasters.

Apart from causing heavy burdens on the public health system, it could make millions of people lose their homes or jobs, become truant or face family breakdown. The crisis showcases the government's failed regulation across multiple systems, and it is imperative to make prompt, unified and comprehensive response.

The drug problem is a long-standing and deep-rooted disease that is yet to be cured. The governments has not done enough to raise public awareness of the harm of narcotic drugs; the measures it took to reduce drug demand are ineffective; and its drug control actions produce poor results. The society should face its own problem squarely, take actions to deal with the domestic issue of prevalent drug abuse, and protect the people's right to life and health, instead of shying away from the problem.

The fight against drugs requires, first and foremost, one's own efforts. At the same time, it also needs cooperation among all countries.

There is no reliable data on how many people die regularly as a result of drug use. Official data and statistics show only deaths from direct overdose, which significantly hide the real scale of the consequences. Many people die later, even after completely stopping using, as a result of irreversible damage from drugs to the most vital organs, such as the heart and brain. Such deaths from strokes and heart attacks never get into official data and statistics.

Almost always, the use of narcotic substances causes irreparable damage to health.

Further widespread spread of toxic substances that cause addiction can completely destroy the entire civilization.

How, in your opinion, should this problem be solved?