Drugs or any psychoactive substances other than food and water, which when entered the body, changes the physiology and psychology of the consumer. They can be naturally taken from plants or artificially prepared in laboratories.

Medical drugs are the medicines used to treat sickness or to enhance productivity of systems in the body. When medical drugs are abused or not used for medical purposes then they are considered as illicit drugs. Drugs which are not used for medical purposes and are illegal to produce, sell, buy or use are also known as illicit drugs. Prescription drugs are medicines which can only be obtained from the pharmacy by a written prescription of a medical doctor only.

There are different kinds of drugs about which we have already written in other blogs. In this blog, we will tell you about some facts and statistics of drug use.


Around the world people are using drugs and there is a high percentage of people who are misusing prescription and other illicit drugs. According to the world drug report (2017) by UNODC, around 271 million people (which is 5.5 % of the global population) used drugs globally in the previous year i.e., 2016. Out of these 271 million people, around 35 million people are suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs). According to this report, the percentage of drug users have been increasing every year and in the current year, obviously there would be an increase in the people with SUDs. The report further stated that 585000 people died in 2017 as a result of drug abuse.

The 2017 report stated that in the previous year, 188 million people used cannabis drug, which was then considered as the most widely used drug globally. It further states that more than 53 million people used opioids, the previous year, all around the world.

People who abuse drugs, face many health consequences. Among them the most problematic thing is injecting drugs which cause multiple problems. According to 2017 report, more than 11 million people injected drugs. Fatal over dose and blood-borne infectious diseases were the most common negative health consequences of injecting drugs. The report suggested that every one person out of 8 suffers from HIV due to injecting drugs. According to this estimate, 1.4 million people are suffering from HIV. People with Hepatitis C are around 5.6 million and cumulatively 1.2 million people have both HIV and Hepatitis C as consequences of drug injecting according to the 2017 report by UNODC.


  • Xylem is a prescription drug. It’s another name is Date-Rape-Drug. Its chemical name is Gamma Hydro butyric (GHB) Acid. Its salty in taste. It comes as a white powder or in liquid state which can easily be dissolved in drinks.
  • When prescription opioids are mixed with alcohol, they slow down breathing and heart rate at a very dangerous level.
  • Bath salts can cause intoxication and serious negative health issues.
  • Steroids are synthetically produced male hormones, testosterone.

According to Anti Narcotic Force Pakistan:

  • Pakistan is declared as a poppy free country.
  • Pakistan is a victim of Afghan Opiated drug trafficking.
  • 685 people die daily due to drug addiction globally.
  • 7 million people in Pakistan takes drugs.
  • 4 million people use Cannabis and 2.7 million use opioids in Pakistan.


People misuse drugs because either they are not satisfied with something in life or they want to change something about themselves. The factors are as follows:

  • To experiment / influence from media or other people
  • To relax
  • To escape
  • To fit in/ peer pressure
  • To feel like a grown up
  • As a rebellion
  • Soothe boredom / because of untreated depression or other mental illness
  • To socialize
  • Mind altering affects / memory enhancing / performance enhancing
  • Drugs available easily / self-medication
  • Enhance confidence / self-esteem


There is a huge problem of drug abuse and drug addiction around the world and specially in Pakistan. Not many people are aware of this drug or substance use disorders. This is a high time to aware the general population about drugs and drug related problems and disorders. We have discussed about the drug abuse and substance use disorders in one of our previous blogs.

If you know anyone suffering from drug addiction or problems related to drug abuse, you can refer them to PRC Rehabilitation Center Karachi. For our other services, please call at 0341-1959599

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