The 2019 World Drug Report from Randox Toxicology
In the turn of the new year, Randox Toxicology have compiled a 2019 report of trends in drug abuse throughout the world and what the key figures say about drug use in the world.
An easy way of seeing how prevalent opioid use is, is the number of opioid overdose deaths. While surveys show an overall decline in the non-medical use of opioids, opioid related deaths continue to increase. The United States recorded the highest number of opioid overdose deaths at over 28,000. Europe is not as heavily affected by opioid use, an example being Sweden. Sweden has the highest number of opioid overdose deaths in Europe, at 590.
Global seizures rose to 1,275 tons, the largest quantity ever reported. This figure highlights the increase in cocaine trafficking. With an estimated 4.2 million people (1.3 per cent of the population) using cocaine, usage of the drug was highest in Western and Central Europe, which accounted for some 90 per cent of all the cocaine use in Europe as a whole.
In Australia, 2.5 per cent of the population aged 14 and older were estimated to have used cocaine in the previous year. The highest estimated prevalence of cocaine was among young adults aged 20-29 also.
Cocaine use was not popular in both Africa in Asia. For Africa, the use of cocaine was estimated to be between 0.02 per cent and 0.40 per cent of the population, while in Asia the cocaine use was estimated to be between 0.04 and 0.07 per cent.
The information available globally on methamphetamine, although limited, indicates that there has been a market expansion. The data available shows that this market has been expanding and that the two largest ‘demand regions’ are South-East Asia and North America.
In terms of methamphetamine that has been seized, North American and South-East Asia, respectively account for 49 per cent and 42 per cent of global quantities seized. Despite the overall expansion of methamphetamine markets worldwide, most of the trafficking continues to be intraregional, for example, trafficking within North America or within South-East Asia.
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A dramatic increase in global consumption of antibiotics has led public health experts to call for innovative new ways to rein in excessive use of the drugs, following a study by the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, in Washington DC.
The study found a 65% rise in worldwide consumption of antibiotics from 2000 to 2015, despite efforts to encourage more prudent use of the drugs. The unrestrained use of antibiotics is the main cause of the increasing appearance of drug-resistant infections, which now kill more than half a million people worldwide. A report in 2014 predicted that the spread of drug resistance could claim millions of lives per year by 2050.
Eili Klein, an author of the study, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, criticised the global response to the global antibiotic resistance crisis as “slow and inadequate” and called for a “radical thinking” of antibiotic consumption.
At Randox, our pioneering R&D teams have developed a revolutionary swab test for respiratory infections which will help to reduce the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. Earlier this year, Public Health England reported that 59% of people who visited their GP with a sore throat were prescribed antibiotics, in spite of only 13% actually needing them.
The new Randox swab test indicates the cause of the infection and whether a patient needs antibiotics or not, by rapidly detecting and identifying the cause of 21 respiratory infections in just 5 hours
The test assists the clinician in prescribing the appropriate antibiotic.
John Lamont, Lead Scientist at Randox Laboratories, said;
“Current diagnostic testing for respiratory infections takes at least 36 hours to confirm the nature of an infection, and they cannot name and categorise infections as bacterial or viral in the way our new respiratory test can.”
This test, if widely adopted, could allow medical practitioners to make the correct treatment choice on the same day as examination and before patients have already begun a precautionary course of inefficient antibiotics. It would also have additional efficiency savings for the NHS, by eliminating the need for lengthy microbiology lab tests and unnecessarily prescribing drugs which are not needed.
This new rapid and accurate test will give clinicians confidence in their diagnosis of respiratory infections and will allow for quicker treatment if necessary, which benefits patient outcomes. By reducing the prescription of unnecessary antibiotics, we can limit their use only for when they are truly needed.
The test is also available as a Randox Health Cough, Cold & Flu offering, and can be carried out by booking an appointment with Randox Health at our clinics in Crumlin, Holywood or London, or by arranging the mobile clinic to visit you at your home or place of work.
Book an appointment with one of our clinics, or arrange the mobile clinic, by phoning 0800 2545 130 or by clicking here.
For further information about the Randox Respiratory Infection Array please contact the Randox PR team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9442 2413