Planet's Heaviest Ecstasy Users: Australians

It takes top spot in UN report, with 3% of population having used it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2014 12:59 PM CDT
Planet's Heaviest Ecstasy Users: Australians
Overturned pill bottle   (Shutterstock)

They're not just drinking Foster's oil cans Down Under. According to the 2014 "World Drug Report" released by the United Nations and cited on Mashable, Australia claims the world’s highest proportion of ecstasy users, with a 3% prevalence rate. It ranks fairly high in other categories, too: It's third for methamphetamines and fourth for cocaine. The country’s cannabis cravings are slightly more mellow, drifting in at No. 7 in the report (Americans continue to out-toke the Aussies, with the US coming in second in that category behind ... Iceland, reports the Daily Telegraph).

Perhaps most worrisome to Australian officials: the nation’s No. 2 ranking for individuals who abuse prescription painkillers such as codeine and morphine. The US takes the lead in that category. Drug experts are pinning Australia’s stats on "economic and social" issues: people with too much money, and those struggling in the face of high unemployment. The UN report notes that despite having the largest proportion of ecstasy pill-poppers, Australia is experiencing a decline in ecstasy use overall. Planet-wide, about 5% of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 used an illegal drug in 2012; 0.6% of the population falls into the category of problem drug user, per the report. (More australia stories.)

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