Figures released by St George University London state that in the UK, in 2009, there were some 2,182 deaths resulting from drug addiction, a rise of 11.8% on the previous year.They indicate that despite the size of the United Kingdom it is not far behind the United States, which leads the world in drug abuse.
Although many common drugs, such as opium and cocaine were used as medical treatments, in the last century, their illegal status led to them becoming used more on a social or recreational level.The 1980’s saw an increase in the availability of such drugs as ecstasy, which brought a complete shift in attitude towards all forms of drug usage.
Home Office records show that the annual cost of treating drug addiction in the UK is as much as £13 billion.They also reveal a massive increase in the use of drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine, with cocaine abuse doubling over the last seven years.Records estimate that around 2% of the population regularly use heroin and cocaine, taking them from a mere social party drug into the area of drug dependency.
One of the biggest problem areas is the increased experimentation with drugs by teenagers and young people in the UK.Studies for the Information Centre for Health and Social Care indicate that there was an 8.1% rise in the incidence of substance abuse by young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years of age. The more disturbing fact is that the use of Class A drugs is becoming more prevalent, with heroin, cocaine and ketamine amongst the favoured substances. Heroin addiction can cause serious mental, physical, and emotional damage.