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Illegal Drug Use May Be Affecting Health, Death Rates Worldwide, Lancet Report Says

“About 200 million people around the world use illegal drugs every year, and that may be taking a toll on health and death rates in various countries, says a report released Thursday in the Lancet,” the Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog reports. According to the blog, “[t]he study, part of a series the journal is doing on addiction, offers a plethora of information about [the] use of opioids, amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana worldwide” (Stein, 1/5).

“All three types of drugs seem to be associated with higher rates of mental disorders, road accidents and violence, although information about this is often sketchy,” according to the study, Agence France-Presse writes, noting, “Drug use is more prevalent in rich economies and in drug-producing regions of poor countries and is often a major health burden, the paper adds” (1/5). “More drug-related policies and better information on drug use prevalence and health effects is needed, the authors said, in high-income countries as well as in developing nations,” the “Booster Shots” blog concludes (1/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.