World News and Trends- Drug addiction: An enormous global industry

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World News and Trends- Drug addiction

An enormous global industry

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Cocaine accounts for some $130 billion of the drug trade, followed by $110 billion for heroin, $75 billion for marijuana and hashish and more than $60 billion for synthetic drugs.

The amount spent on illegal drugs is roughly double that spent on legal pharmaceuticals, which account for $233 billion annually, according to the report. Drug users spend more for deadly addictive drugs than they do for legal medicinal drugs, cars or clothing.

Drug abuse exacts an enormous financial toll on American society, costing an average of $300 per person annually in added medical costs, criminal activity and declines in productivity. On average, health costs for a drug abuser are about 80 percent higher than for others of the same age.

The United States has an estimated 12.8 million drug abusers, equaling 6.1 percent of the population.

In spite of some reports of slowing drug usage, the reports stated that global production of coca leaf and opium have roughly tripled in the past 10 years, and global marijuana output has increased 50 percent. (Source: Gannett News Service .)

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