Drugs have been part of our culture since the middle of the last century.
You probably know someone who has been affected by drugs, directly or indirectly.
The most commonly used—and abused—drug in the world is alcohol. Alcohol-related motor accidents are the second leading cause of teen death in the United States.
The most commonly used illegal drug is marijuana. According to the United Nations 2008 World Drug Report, about 3.9% of the world’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 abuse marijuana.
Young people today are exposed earlier than ever to drugs. Based on a survey by the Centers for Disease Control in 2007, 45% of high school students nationwide drank alcohol and 19.7% smoked pot during a one-month period.
Tragically, Ecstasy is one of the most popular drugs among youth today. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates Ecstasy users to number approximately 9 million worldwide. The vast majority of users are teenagers and young adults.
Mixed with alcohol, Ecstasy is extremely dangerous and can, in fact, be deadly. So widespread has been the harm of this “designer drug,” that emergency room incidents have skyrocketed more than 1,200% since Ecstasy became the “club drug” of choice at all-night “rave” parties and dance clubs.
In Europe, recent studies among 15- and 16-year-olds suggest that use of marijuana varies from under 10% to over 40%, with the highest rates reported by teens in the Czech Republic (44%), followed by Ireland (39%), the UK (38%) and France (38%). In Spain and the United Kingdom, cocaine use among 15- to 16-year-olds is 4% to 6%. Cocaine use among young people has risen in Denmark, Italy, Spain, UK, Norway and France.