(updated with information available for 2012, although years of survey data vary)
*The National Institute on Drug Abuse
*United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
*SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)
Marijuana has been the primary illegal drug that has been abused among teens. In 2012, more than twenty-two percent of twelfth graders had used the drug in past month. Seventeen percent of tenth graders and more than six percent of eighth graders had also taken the drug in the past month from the time of being surveyed. It is also noted that daily use has increased.
Globally, marijuana use was between 119 million and 224 million people. This is the most used illegal substance in the world. Figures for this were reported for 2010.
A new concern is synthetic marijuana, which is mixture of herbs laced with synthetic chemicals. This was considered a safe alternative to marijuana but has proven that is not the case at all. In 2012, over eleven percent of twelfth graders, almost nine percent of tenth graders and a little more than four percent of eighth graders had used this drug in the past year.
Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications continue to be a significant problem with teenagers. 2012 surveys showed that more than fourteen percent of twelfth graders used a prescription drug in the past year prior to survey. The ones most commonly abused are Vicodin and Adderall.
While trends of the use of methamphetamine, heroin and hallucinogens continue at a steady pace, the use of cocaine and inhalants are dropping. Twelfth graders using Ecstasy dropped from roughly five percent in 2011 to three percent in 2012. Use among eighth and tenth graders also decreased.
Globally, amphetamines (not including Ecstasy) were running second to marijuana, with between 14 million and 52.5 million people using these stimulants in 2010.
North America and parts of Europe continue to be the two major areas of high numbers of cocaine users. North America is noted as having five million people who used cocaine in the past year from time of survey in 2010.
Reportedly, male use of illicit drugs is more than that of females; however prescription drug abuse is higher among females than males.
In 2010, there were approximately 230 million people who used an illegal drug once in that year. Those who had problems with dependency numbered approximately 27 million.
It was estimated that in 2008, there were over 3 million drug-related emergency room visits by people over the age of twenty-five. Of those 3 million, about four percent involved a suicide attempt. More than half of those involved females.
There were over 500,000 drug-related emergency room visits by people aged twelve to twenty. Thirty percent of those 500,000 were from alcohol in combination with other drugs.
Globally, it was estimated that in 2010 there were up to 253,000 deaths related to illicit drugs.
In 2008, reports stated that worldwide, out of about 16 million people who injected drugs, 3 million of those had HIV and over 7 million were infected with hepatitis C.
It is unfortunate that only about twenty percent of problem drug users received treatment in 2010. It is important to find effective treatment for drug addicts, taking this societal calamity and one person at a time, eliminating addiction and turning things around in our culture.