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Marijuana Is The Most Used Illegal Drug Worldwide But Painkiller Addiction Kills More People   
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Marijuana is the most used illegal drug worldwide but addiction to legal painkillers kills the most people, according to new research.

Scientists found that cannabis was used more than cocaine and heroin in the first ever study of world-wide drug use.

But experts from the University of Washington found that opioid painkillers such as vicodin, oxycontin and codeine caused more than half of the estimated 78,000 drug-related deaths worldwide.

The study, which did not include data on ecstasy and hallucinogens, also found that men in their 20s are most likely to abuse drugs, with the highest rates of abuse found in Australia, the UK, Russia and the U.S.

The research, which was published in The Lancet, found that the rate of drug-related deaths in countries that take a hard-line against illicit substance abuse was much higher than in states where the policy is to wean people off drugs by using methadone clinics and needle exchange programmes.

Theo Vos, from the university's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and senior author of the study, said that although his team had few concrete numbers and had to rely on modeling techniques, the results still prove that there are drug problems in most parts of the world.

Professor Vos added that people tended to abuse drugs produced close to home: cocaine in North America, amphetamines and opioids in Asia and Australia.

The lowest rates of drug abuse were in Asia and Africa

Michael Lysnkey, of the National Addiction Centre at King's College London, who co-authored an accompanying commentary warned that prescription drug abuse in the U.S only appears to have become problematic in the last decade and warned that health officials will need to address the issue.

He said: 'It's possible in another 20 years, patterns will again change in ways we can't predict.'

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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