A report estimates that some 200 million people (range 149-271 million) worldwide use illicit drugs each year. This figure represents 1 in 20 people aged 15-64 years, and use is highest in developed countries. Furthermore, the burden of disease due to drug use in high-income countries such as Australia is a sizeable proportion of that caused by alcohol consumption, but much less than that caused by tobacco.
The paper is by Professor Louisa Degenhardt, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, and the Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia; and Professor Wayne Hall, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
Read more in The Lancet.