Thanks to its liberal laws and Amsterdam’s many ‘coffee shops’, most of us would safely assume that The Netherlands tops the poll of Cannabis use. Believe it or not however, the country doesn’t even make the top five list.
Data was collected by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) between 2003 and 2014 and compared drug use in America and Europe. In many cases, the results make for some surprising reading.
Those living in Iceland were found to smoke the most marijuana with between 160 and 190 in every 1,000 adults using it. Despite the fact that it is illegal in Iceland, it is tolerated in small amounts and those caught smoking or in possession of it are likely to be hit with nothing more than a fine. It is unclear exactly why the drug is so popular in the cold country but beer was only made legal 25 years ago and alcohol is very expensive so that could be a contributing factor.
America is the second biggest consumer of marijuana with between 130 and 160 users per 1,000 adults. This is followed by Spain with up to 10% of its population using the drug.
The US topped the chart for the highest rate of prescription drug abuse and opiad use which includes heroin and painkillers such as morphine and methadone. Worryingly, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has more than quadrupled in the US since 1999.
America also leads the way when it comes to cocaine use along with Spain with 23 in every 1,000 adults in both countries using the Class A drug at least once in the past year. It is estimated that a staggering 94% of all Euro notes circulating in Spain have traces of the drug on them. Malta, Ireland and The Netherlands make up the remainder of the top five countries by cocaine use.
Norway was found to consume the most alcohol with an unbelievable 893 in every 1,000 adults having drank it in the past year. Germany and Finland followed closely behind along with France and Ireland.
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