Alcohol, Tobacco Pose Greater Threat To Global Health Than Illicit Drugs

Alcohol Tobacco Are Biggest Threat to Human Well-Being Says Study

The data were drawn mainly from the World Health Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

"Estimating the prevalence of use and associated burden of disease and mortality at the country, regional, and global level is critical in quantifying the extent and severity of the burden arising from substance use."

The study focused on the burden of death and disease with drug use and in 2015 alone, both alcohol and tobacco use cost the world more than a billion disability-life adjusted years.

Impact on human welfare was measured by calculating the loss of disability-adjusted life years (DALY).

The report has now been published in the journal Addiction.

Also, an estimated 15.2 percent of adults smoke on a daily basis.

The researchers found that, worldwide, an estimated 18 percent of people reported "heavy" alcohol use in the last month (heavy use corresponds to more than 60 grams of alcohol, or about four standard drinks, on one occasion).

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No less worryingly, illicit drug consumption has caused individuals around the globe to claim 27.8 million disability-adjusted life-years. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online.

Even fewer people are thought to engage in amphetamine, opioid, or cocaine use. Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, had a high rate of amphetamine use, at 491.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The report also revealed that people with high income in North America, Australia, and New Zealad, had the highest rates of using illegal substance, such as marijuana, opioids, and cocaine. The same European regions also recorded the highest prevalence of tobacco smoking (Eastern Europe 24.2 percent, Central Europe 23.7 percent, and Western Europe 20.9 percent).

Some of the highest levels of alcohol consumption were in Central, Eastern and Western Europe, where the per-capita consumption was 11 to 12 liters (about 3 gallons) of pure alcohol a year, compared with about 6 liters (1.5 gallons) a year per capita worldwide.

In the past, experts have suggested that Europeans were at a higher risk of getting certain cancers due to their excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, however the researchers stressed that their findings are limited as the information gathered did not include other countries.

They therefore advise that in the future, public health organizations should develop and apply more rigorous methods of collecting relevant data and make them available to researchers and public policy-makers.

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