The Use of Illicit Drug: a Significant Cause of Global Health Issue

Topics: Drug addiction, Heroin, Drug Pages: 7 (2179 words) Published: November 4, 2013
The Use of Illicit Drug: a Significant Cause of Global Health Issue 1. Introduction
Many incurable diseases in the world are being cured and eliminated with the development of science and technology, while there are some new adverse factors probably can result in great harm to people's health. Amongst these factors, the use of illicit drug is a crucial cause of spreading infectious diseases and deaths. It is estimated that more than 200 million people use illicit drugs in 2010 and among these user, approximately 100,000 deaths are related to the use of illicit substance (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012). Furthermore, illicit drug use also indirectly hinders the development of economy and society, for instance, it accounts for the productivity losses, heavy financial burden, increasing criminals, and damaged environment (The Nossal Institute for Global Health, 2010). Under these unhealthy and unstable situations, the health problems caused by the use of illicit drugs are expanding rapidly and severely. The risk of illicit drug use impairs human body, undermines economic development and damage social stability. 2. Impact on health

The use of illicit drug causes global health issue that it brings about numerous fatal diseases including inducing stroke, lethal arrhythmias and hyperthermia, particularly blood borne. Drug use, especially injected drug use (IDU), is a crucial vector for spreading blood borne such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C. IDU induces high danger of spreading of HIV; as a result, IDU is responsible for approximately ten per cent of all HIV patients worldwide. Another relevant statistic of IDU is that amongst 16 million IDUs globally, about one in five is HIV-positive (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012). Furthermore, the distribution of AIDS related to IDU in some parts of the world is considerable different, for instance, 50-90% HIV infections in central and eastern Asia, Eastern Europe and the Pacific are blamed on IDU, which are the most severe areas (The Nossal Institute for Global Health, 2010). IDU is also a hazard causal factor for expanding hepatitis B and C. For this reason, about 8 million IDUs are infected with hepatitis C and about 4 million are infected with hepatitis B all over the world. Compare to hepatitis B, hepatitis C is more epidemic for it is often infected by using same needles carrying virus (Hunt, 2003). In addition to these bacterial infections, the most significant risk generated by illicit drugs is drug-related deaths which are the most fatal consequence of it. In 1999, about twenty thousand people died from it in the United Stated, and this number increased to forty thousand by 2007, which shows that the rate of drug-induced deaths is increasing rapidly (Xu, et.al, 2007). Drug overdose and drug-related suicide, which are all associated with or exacerbated by illicit drugs, are two main causes of these deaths. Drug overdose is a crucial health issue induced by over drug use, for instance, 0.2 million people die from it and half of these deaths are attributed to fatal overdoses every year (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012). Moreover, drug-related suicide is also a devastating problem that drug users are fourteen times more likely to suicide than ordinary people (Peterson & Best, 2005). In 2007, illicit drugs are responsible for more than thirty thousand deaths resulting from suicide in the United Stated. As a consequences of illicit drug use, drug users need special therapies, however, the expense of them is costly and a large number of people require these treatment, which place a heavy financial burden on society. Under these circumstances, there are not adequate opportunities for them to recover from these illnesses. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2010), in 2009, only 2.6 million drug-dependent users received treatment by specialty facility, while approximately 24 million people need these...
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