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5 Countries with the Worst Drug Problems

person huddled in back alley completely obscured by long shawl and living in one of the 5 countries with the worst drug problems

Many Americans believe the United States is home to the world’s worst drug problems, but other countries experience higher rates of addiction. Making matters worse, many of these countries offer fewer opportunities for addiction treatment leaving many drug users homeless and hopeless.

In the U.S., over eight million people struggle with drug addiction. That’s why it’s important to understand the impact of addiction in other countries and how worldwide drug trafficking increases supply is also necessary. Countries with more severe addiction rates impact bordering countries and make drug trafficking more profitable. Addiction treatment is often more readily available in the U.S., but other countries struggle to provide adequate resources for those struggling with addiction.

At Michael’s House, we understand that drug addiction is a global issue and are focused on providing our patients with the best treatment options, regardless of where they are from. Reach out to us today at 760.548.4032, and we can talk to you or a loved one about our residential addiction treatment center and how we can help on the road to recovery.

5 Countries with the Worst Drug Problems

Some countries struggle with some of the worst drug problems. Here are five of those countries.

1. Iran

Addiction rates in Iran are high compared to other countries, with a more significant percentage of the country’s population using drugs like opium, including heroin and crystal meth. The country offers methods for addressing the problems, such as methadone clinics, needle-exchange programs, and charities fighting addiction.

But a combination of high youth unemployment, inflation, and cheap heroin from Afghanistan makes fighting addiction there particularly challenging. The country’s fundamental Islamic presence fights addiction with severe penalties, including putting some people with drug crimes to death. Recent movements are at work to end capital punishment for nonviolent drug offenders.

2. Afghanistan

The world’s number one producer of opium, Afghanistan is the center of the opium trade and now refines some of its opium into heroin. One news report estimates that one million people in the country are addicted to drugs out of a population of 35 million. Decades of violence and war may drive some people to drug use, while officials with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime point to a huge increase in cheap heroin as one reason behind the epidemic.

World surveys show 90% of all heroin used in Europe traces back to this tiny mountainous country. In addition to trafficking, the country cannot offer adequate treatment. People of all ages, including young children, are addicted to heroin, but the country has a limited number of treatment centers, around 95 beds for about 2,300 people.

3. Russia

Intravenous drug use has become a considerable problem in Russia, especially among teenagers and young adults. Russian officials say there are one million heroin users, although other experts believe the number is closer to two million. The country’s drug use rose dramatically after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Government officials do not support harm reduction strategies, such as methadone clinics or needle-exchange programs, favoring a punitive approach to drug use that incarcerates drug users. As a result, Russia has one of the fastest-growing HIV/AIDS epidemics on the planet.

4. The United States

The United States is not a significant producer or trafficker of drugs, but it is among the world’s top users of illicit substances. Americans are at the greatest risk of drug-related deaths and currently have the most people with prescription painkiller addictions in the world. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America, with 22.2 million current users, while over three million people misuse prescription painkillers. In addition, more Americans now report using heroin than in years past, while cocaine use remains steady.

5. Great Britain

More than 15 million people in Great Britain report trying drugs, and around three million take them regularly. The number of people using drugs, according to 2014 figures, is up compared to 2008. Most people in Great Britain do not report a problem with drug use, but one million do report current issues. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug, followed by amphetamines and cocaine.

England is one of the number one users of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin in Europe. Social mores in the United Kingdom make experimenting with drugs at an early age more acceptable. Teenagers and even pre-teens experiment with highly dangerous drugs at an early age.

Is It Important to Understand Drug Problems in Other Countries?

Understanding drug problems in other countries can provide valuable insights into our country’s drug policies and interventions. It is also important to acknowledge that drug use is a global issue, and we must work together with other nations to address it effectively. Additionally, drug trafficking and production often have international connections, so understanding the scope of drug use in other countries can help combat drug trafficking and availability.

Knowing the scope of how people across the globe are affected by drug use can also help us understand the human impact and how drug use can devastate individuals, families, and communities. By understanding drug problems in other countries, we can work towards creating practical solutions on a global level. Some solutions could involve:

  • Increased funding for drug treatment and prevention programs
  • Implementing harm reduction strategies
  • Collaborating with other countries on drug enforcement efforts

It is important to understand drug problems in other countries, not only for global solidarity and to benefit U.S. drug policies and interventions.

Learn More About Drug Use in Other Countries and How Michael’s House Can Help You Find Treatment

Understanding other countries that have the worst drug problems is valuable information, but it’s also important to understand drug use and its consequences in your own life. With that being said, no matter a person’s country of origin, it’s crucial for them to get help for an addiction. Michael’s House, located in Palm Springs, California, offers people comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. Contact us today at 760.548.4032 to learn more about our individualized treatment plans and how we can help you or a loved one on the road to recovery.