The use and abuse of illegal drugs remains a problem in all parts of the world, with an estimated 5.3 percent of the global population using illegal drugs in 2015. The problem of illegal drug use and abuse varies from country to country as different countries practice different drug laws, enforce different penalties for breaking these laws, experience varying drug availability, and possess unique cultural perspectives on such substances. The United States in particular has had an interesting and extensive history around drug use, even going so far as to fight a “War on Drugs”.
The death rate from drug overdose in the U.S. in 2016 varied considerably by state, but saw a national average of 14 overdose deaths per 100,000 population. Such overdoses included traditional illicit drugs, but also misused prescription drugs, particularly opioids, abuse of which has become a serious problem in recent years. With the increased use of certain addictive and dangerous drugs and high overdose death rates in certain states, the importance of prevention and treatment remains undeniable. The number of substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S., which focus on drug and alcohol abuse, was reported to be 13,873 in 2014, a decrease from the 14,152 facilities reported in the previous year.
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