In news-you-already-knew news today, a study out of the University of Washington found that marijuana is the most popular drug in the world (alcohol was not included).
The study of illicit drugs also found that prescription painkillers used illegally are the most deadly drugs in the world with more than 78,000 deaths worldwide in 2010. For those keeping count that is 78,000 more people than cannabis killed that year or any year in recorded history.
Two of the most commonly prescribed pain medications top the list of most deadly prescription drugs: Vicodin and Oxycontin. Researchers also point out that the popularity of pills has skyrocketed in the last decade. Interestingly, many medical cannabis patients have found similar relief without the dangers and addictive properties of those two drugs in (you guessed it) medical cannabis.
The study names the U.S., U.K., Russia and Australia as having the worst drug problems by population. Cocaine, heroin, meth and psychedelic drugs were also included in the first-ever survey of this kind by the university.
Which brings up probably the biggest take-away from the study: marijuana isn’t even included in the major social and medical implications of drug use identified by the researchers:
“Illicit drug use is an important contributor to the global burden of disease,” the study concludes.” Efficient strategies to reduce disease burden of opioid dependence and injecting drug use, such as delivery of opioid substitution treatment and needle and syringe programs, are needed to reduce this burden at a population scale.”