Drug dependence

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Drug addiction
Substance dependence
Chemical dependence
Untreatable drug addiction

The state of drug dependence or addiction arises from repeated administration of a drug on a periodic or continual basis. Drugs are substances which have a debilitating effect on the mind, central nervous system and general health. Addiction undermines the physical, mental and spiritual competence of individuals. The addictive process usually begins with what is considered to be normal or accepted within society. To take alcohol or chemicals to alleviate strain and stress has a long and almost universal pedigree. It is in the nature of addictive substances that an increasing dosage is required which activates the desire to take the next dose. This is the accumulative effect of drug taking.


Drug dependence has become a world-wide problem, but it seems what was a problem among the lost generation of drop-out youth in the West has turned East, presenting Asia with a vast home-grown problem. In Malaysia, for example, the government has declared the heroin problem the 'No 1 enemy'. Sixty percent of the world's heroin output is now consumed in Asia, and despite increasingly punitive laws against its use, heroin addiction is still increasing at an alarming rate among Asia's teenagers and young adults. In 1984, in Malaysia there were known to be 9,000 addicts, though the actual figure is reckoned to be nearer 500,000; in Pakistan the number has grown to 100,000 in only three years; in Thailand, of 33,000 addicts in treatment centres, nearly 30,000 are heroin cases. In 1990 it was estimated that about 5.5 million people in the USA required treatment for drug dependency, namely over 2% of the population. It was further estimated that the costs to the USA of drug-related crimes was $5 billion in tangible losses to victims of 9 million drug-related crimes, and a further $30 billion in other annual costs relating to such crimes.

Related Problems:
Chronic alcoholism
International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (ICPA)
International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA)
World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU)
Global Commission on Drug Policy
International Blue Cross (IBC)
International Collaboration on ADHD and Substance Abuse (ICASA)
International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS)
International Drug Abuse Research Society (IDARS)
International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA)
International Society for the Study of Behavioral Addictions (ISSBA)
International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM)
IOGT International
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists (SALIS)
World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD)
Arab Federation of NGOs for Drug Abuse Prevention (AFNDA)
Asia-Pacific Society for Alcohol and Addiction Research (APSAAR)
Centre de coordination pour la lutte anti-drogue en Méditerranée (CeCLAD-M)
Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA)
European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)
European Association for Substance Abuse Research (EASAR)
European Federation of Addiction Societies (EUFAS)
European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC)
European Mutual-Help Network for Alcohol-Related Problems (EMNA)
European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association (EUROPAD)
European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ESBRA)
European Treatment Centers for Drug Addiction (EURO-TC)
European Union of Nonsmokers
International Federation of Non-Government Organizations for the Prevention of Drug and Substance Abuse (IFNGO)
International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE)
Nordiska Godtemplarrådet (NGR)
Tutmonda Agado de Esperantistaj Nefumantoj (TAdEN)
Youth Organisations for Drug Action (YODA)
Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems (CARIAD)
Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group)
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission
International Youth Health Organization (YHO)
Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Network (MENAHRA)
Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST