World's Most Popular Drug: Pot
But painkillers behind most deaths
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 29, 2013 12:03 AM CDT
A man pulls out a bag of marijuana to fill a pipe at the first day of Hempfest, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – Researchers have, for the first time, conducted a worldwide survey on illegal drug use, and they learned that the most popular one on the planet is marijuana. But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them, the AP reports, as per the study published in the Lancet. In 2010, more than half of the 78,000 illicit-drug deaths came from painkiller abuse—though ecstasy and hallucinogens weren't included in the investigation.

Men in their 20s are the top drug abusers, and the Aussies, Brits, Russians, and Americans are the biggest offenders. Asia and Africa have the lowest rates of abuse. Limited data availability required researchers to turn to modeling methods. But "even if it is not very solid data, we can say definitely that there are drug problems in most parts of the world," says the study's lead author. He notes that countries with tougher anti-drug laws see more addict deaths than do countries which turn to needle exchanges and methadone clinics to help addicts.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
KoolerThanU
Aug 30, 2013 6:01 PM CDT
No!? What!? I never knew this...this article was really an eye opener.
TheGunts
Aug 30, 2013 9:26 AM CDT
"But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them" "In 2010, more than half of the 78,000 ILLICIT-drug deaths came from painkiller abuse" Definition of "illicit": "not legally permitted" So, the story should read that more than half of the 78,000 drug deaths came from prescription drug (legal)abuse. Guess they didn't want to put off big-pharma and all of the wonderful work that they're doing for our country and citizens. Thanks for the mis-information Newser.
CentristIntelligence
Aug 29, 2013 10:46 PM CDT
Its not a drug...its a plant.