Drug use is killing more people than ever and the illegal market continues to grow every year. These are some of the findings that the UN warned in its latest World Drug Report (2019) that pushes the death toll to more than half a million a year from the consumption of these substances. .
In addition to the danger that illegal psychoactive substances represent for people’s lives, legal drugs today also wreak havoc on public health at the international level and represent a real danger for society, so their real harmful effects are not so perceived by the majority of the population.
In order to know clearly which are the most consumed drugs in the worldHere we will see a list of the most widely used substances distinguishing between legal and illegal.
What is the most consumed drug?
The distinction between legal and illegal substances causes us to change what we may consider to be the most widely used drug in the world. In all cases, the “champions” in each category are substances that are widely used and pose a real problem for society.
1. Illegal drugs
Illegal drugs are psychoactive substances whose consumption or distribution is penalized by the legal system of a country. Although the legislation on each substance may vary depending on the country we are in, especially in the case of cannabis, in general the drugs prosecuted by the law are always the same. Here are the most widely used illicit drugs today.
If we focus on illegal psychoactive substances, cannabis is the most widely used drug in the world. The low perception of the risk of this drug in the public opinion, especially among young people, is one of the factors which explain their high percentage of consumers, but there are also other elements to take into account.
Among the factors that make possible the highest consumption of cannabis in the world, we can highlight, first of all, the different processes of legalization or regulation of the legal status of this drug in several Western countries; and in addition to that, it is also relevant to mention the wide variety of ways of consuming cannabis currently on the market, such as pipes, sprays or vaporizers, some of which are perceived to be less harmful to health.
These factors create a less dangerous perception of cannabis in a part of the population, a vision that does not correspond to reality or to the harmful effects of this drug and its main psychoactive component: THC.
Some of the effects of consuming cold THC are short-term memory loss, episodes of anxiety, difficulty controlling one’s body, and addiction to the substance. Furthermore, some of the long-term physical effects may be respiratory illness or the possibility of suffering from psychiatric disorders such as outbreaks of psychosis.
Cocaine is the second most widely used illegal drug in the world. Its high price compared to other drugs like cannabis, places it for decades as the stimulant drug par excellence for people with purchasing power.
The most common way to take this medicine is in powder form, by nasal aspiration of the famous “coke strips”, but there are other ways of consuming it as well.
Regardless of how you use cocaine, its effects are very harmful to the health of anyone, Being the most notable physical effects, nausea, tremors, difficulty in breathing, propensity to fight or cause accidents, persecution or possible mania and death in case of overdose. Plus, it’s very addicting.
MDMA or ecstasy is the most popular and widely used synthetic drug in the world. The main areas where this drug is consumed are usually nightlife areas such as nightclubs, parties or radishes.Participants generally take it for its stimulating effects.
The most important effects on the body are a potentially dangerous increase in blood pressure, jaw tension, dizziness and, with heavy consumption, kidney failure, loss of consciousness or seizures.
Furthermore, the main effects in the psychological field are disinhibition, illogical thoughts, hallucinations and also loss of cognitive functions., Long-term with repeated consumption.
2. Legal drugs
Legal drugs are all those psychoactive substances which, although they have negative effects on the body and the possibility of being addictive in humans, in addition to other health problems, consumption and distribution are permitted in the vast majority of countries in the world.
Alcohol is the most widely used legal drug in the world and today, the age of onset of consumption of this substance, as well as cases of dependence, decreases in developed countries.
This increase in the number of young drinkers and addicted adolescents is due, in part, to the popularity of alcohol in most societies, the effect of the somewhat deregulated advertising of alcoholic beverages among the population and the conception that adolescents have of this product as a socializing drink. and linked to adult and party environments.
The health risks posed by alcohol consumption are not fully understood by society as a whole, but the truth is that this substance it is one of the drugs that causes the most deaths each year on the planet.
The main effects of alcohol on the body are motor incoordination, acute detoxification and in extreme cases its high consumption can cause alcoholic coma or death. In the psychological field, its effects are disinhibition, difficulty in speaking and difficulty in reasoning and associating ideas.
2.2. the tobacco
Tobacco is one of the most common and popular legal drugs in the world. Despite the various anti-smoking campaigns carried out in recent decades in Western countries, which have succeeded in considerably reducing the number of consumers in the world, today over a billion people around the world still smoke regularly.
The main harmful effects of nicotine from tobacco are premature fatigue, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, and an increased risk of getting angina, cancer and other diseases of the respiratory system.
Hypnosedants are drugs that have a sedative effect on the central nervous system and are also addictive in the body. In large doses, its effects can decrease a person’s reflexes, cause drowsiness and even lead to coma.
These types of substances are consumed more and more around the world, becoming the third legal medicine with more consumers on the planet.
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