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Are Drugs Bad For You?

Drugs have been part of our culture since the middle of the last century. Popularized in the 1960s by music and mass media, they invade all aspects of society.

An estimated 208 million people internationally consume illegal drugs. In the United States, results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 19.9 million Americans (or 8% of the population aged 12 or older) used illegal drugs in the month prior to the survey.

You probably know someone who has been affected by drugs, directly or indirectly.

The most commonly used—and abused—drug in the US is alcohol. Alcohol-related motor accidents are the second leading cause of teen death in the United States.

The most commonly used illegal drug is marijuana. According to the United Nations 2008 World Drug Report, about 3.9% of the world’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 abuse marijuana.

Young people today are exposed earlier than ever to drugs. Based on a survey by the Centers for Disease Control in 2007, 45% of high school students nationwide drank alcohol and 19.7% smoked pot during a one-month period.

In Europe, recent studies among 15- and 16-year-olds suggest that use of marijuana varies from under 10% to over 40%, with the highest rates reported by teens in the Czech Republic (44%), followed by Ireland (39%), the UK (38%) and France (38%). In Spain and the United Kingdom, cocaine use among 15- to 16-year-olds is 4% to 6%. Cocaine use among young people has risen in Denmark, Italy, Spain, UK, Norway and France.

Click here to learn more and find out for yourself.

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