Alcohol and tobacco are the "biggest threat" among addictive drugs

Alcohol and tobacco are the

In addition, 15 percent reported daily tobacco smoking, 3.8 percent reported marijuana use in the past year, 0.77 percent reported amphetamine use in the past year, 0.37 percent reported non-medical opioid use in the past year and 0.35 percent reported cocaine use in the past year.

The report, which includes data from the World Health Organization, found that one in seven adults globally used tobacco in the 30 days the study covered. The researchers examined both the prevalence of drug use as well as the "health burden", in the form of death and disability tied to drugs.

The researchers estimate that nearly one in seven adults smoke tobacco and one in five adults reported at least one instance of heavy alcohol consumption in the past month.

But the United States and Canada had among the highest rates of dependence on marijuana (749 cases per 100,000 people), opioids (650 cases per 100,000) and cocaine (301 cases per 100,000), according to study co-author Robert West, of University College London, and colleagues. The same regions also reported higher percentage of consumption of alcohol amongst drinkers.

Even with high numbers reported in Australia, the USA, and Canada, the researchers found that less that one in twenty people reported using cannabis in the previous year, and those numbers were smaller for opioids or cocaine.

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Regarding addiction, an estimated 63 million people worldwide were dependent on alcohol in 2015, with about 843 cases of alcohol dependence per 100,000 people.

Based on analysis of global statistics for the year 2015, tobacco cost the world 170.9 million DALYs while alcohol cost 85 million DALYs. This means on in every almost seven adults is a smoker.

Deaths were greatest for tobacco, at 110 per 100,000 people, followed by 33 deaths per 100,000 people for alcohol, and 6.9 death per 100,000 for illegal drugs, according to the paper.

Illicit drug use was far less common worldwide, with fewer than one in 20 people estimated to use marijuana in the past year, with much lower rates of use for amphetamines, opioids and cocaine, the researchers said. Tobacco, they say, is the first. Still, the health toll of illegal drugs may be underestimated because available data on these drugs is limited.

But wide other swaths of the world - especially the developing world in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia - do not have health and substance-abuse data, the paper adds.

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