About 270 million people (or about 5.5% of the world's population aged 15-6) had used psychoactive drugs in the previous year and about 35 million people are. NIDA uses multiple sources to monitor drug use prevalence and trends in the United States. The resources on this website cover a variety of drug-related topics, including information on drug use, emergency room data, prevention and treatment programs, and other research findings. While younger people are more likely to use drugs, the rate of drug use among people over 40 is increasing more rapidly than among younger age groups.
Since its inception, WHO has played an important role within the United Nations system in addressing the world drug problem. The National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) monitors drug use trends in 12 sentinel communities across the United States. The production, distribution, sale or non-medical use of many psychoactive drugs is controlled or prohibited outside legally sanctioned channels. Psychoactive drugs have different degrees of availability restriction, depending on their health risks and therapeutic utility, and are classified according to a hierarchy of schedules at the national and international levels.
Drug use disorders, particularly when left untreated, increase morbidity and mortality risks for individuals, can trigger substantial suffering, and cause impairment in areas of personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The Addiction Center receives advertising payments from treatment centers that answer calls to the toll-free numbers listed on the websites and is not associated with any specific treatment provider. The use of psychoactive drugs without medical supervision is associated with significant health risks and can lead to the development of drug use disorders. Examples of Schedule I drugs include ecstasy, heroin, synthetic heroin, LSD, marijuana and peyote.
According to the latest World Drug Report, released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an estimated 35 million people suffer from drug use disorders and require treatment services. Prevention and treatment remain insufficient in many parts of the world, with only one in seven people with drug use disorders receiving treatment each year. It's becoming more legal in the United States, both for medicine and recreation, but it's still not completely safe because it can be addictive and cause health problems. Prescription stimulants include Adderall, Dexedrine, dietary products such as Preludin, Fastin, Meridia, and illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, methcathinone, and other synthetic cathinones known as “bath salts.” Drug use disorders are associated with significant costs to society due to lost productivity, premature mortality, increased health care spending, and costs related to criminal justice, social welfare and other social consequences.
All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.