When we think of addictions, most of us tend to associate them with drugs and alcohol. Although they do make up a huge percentage, there are many other crippling addictions out there that people are suffering with every day.
It’s estimated that two billion people around the world have a problem with alcohol. Sadly, this is on the rise and as well as having serious implications on a person’s work and personal life, excessive alcohol consumption can also be hugely detrimental to our health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that alcohol is linked to more than 60 different types of disease and injury. It’s causes a worrying 20 - 30% of all worldwide incidences of esophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, murder and car accidents and is responsible for causing 1.8 million deaths around the world.
Tobacco still holds first-place ranking as the substance that causes the most health damage worldwide. A staggering six million deaths occur every year because of tobacco addiction and WHO has reported that smoking causes over 90% of lung cancer cases in men and 70% in women.
Despite the serious health warnings that come with smoking, tobacco use is rising and is expected to cause an extra two million deaths every year by 2030.
Both prescription medications and illegal drug use is on the rise. In the late 1990s the United Nations estimated that 185 million people worldwide were consuming drugs and this figure has now risen to 208 million (illegal drug use only).
Marijuana is becoming a particular problem with 2.5% of the world’s population consuming it every year. Its use has grown faster than cocaine or heroin abuse which is a particular concern because it can impair cognitive development, physical performance, exacerbate schizophrenia and cause bronchial damage to name a few.
The worldwide production of heroin has also tripled since 1985 and it’s estimated that there are now approximately 9.2 million users. Heroin are at a 20 to 30 times higher risk of death than non-users and it is responsible for the spread of many diseases including hepatitis and HIV.
Please keep an eye out for part two of the world’s most common addictions which will be posted shortly.
If you are worried that you or someone you know could be suffering with an addiction of any kind, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the strictest confidence. You can also check out our addiction treatment pages or learn more at our Knowledge Centre.