Substance Abuse: A Global View

Substance Abuse: A Global View

Substance Abuse: A Global View

Substance Abuse: A Global View


The world has over 141 million drug abusers, and that number is on the rise. Different countries have different ways of dealing with substance abuse and some have been successful while others have been less so. This book examines this deadly social issue through these case studies highlighting 13 different countries from around the world. Discover which countries keep the death rates from substance abuse low and how; how countries control the supply of drugs; and in which countries tactics seem to be failing. Approaches vary, highlighting the lack of easy solutions.


The global drug problem has three major themes, which are clearly discernible in most countries around the world: concern about young people and drugs; concern about addiction; and concern about the effects of the illegal production, trafficking, and selling of drugs. Two major policy and programming approaches are used to deal with these three primary concerns about drug use: the criminal justice model, which is used to stop or control drug use; and the public health model, based on harm reduction, which is used to reduce the health problems among drug users that are caused by the drugs they use. The best example of the prohibition model is China, and the best example of the harm reduction model is the Netherlands, although all countries use some combination of these drug-control strategies.

When the drug-abuse problem is examined on a global scale, it becomes clear how the production, trafficking, and retailing of illegal drugs affect addiction as well as public and social policy. The production of drugs falls into three categories: those processes requiring only plant products (cannabis and raw opium); those processes involving a semi-synthetic process in which natural materials are partly changed by synthetic substances to produce the final product (coca bush leaves processed to make cocaine); and those using only manmade chemicals to produce consumable drugs (narcotic or psychotropic drugs, such as LSD, made entirely in the laboratory or factory).


Drug addiction, or drug abuse, is a chronic or habitual use of any chemical substance to alter states of the mind for any purpose other than a medically

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