Canada: Drugs Abuse

Drug use and abuse is as old as mankind itself. Human beings have always had a desire to eat or drink substances that make them feel relaxed, stimulated, or euphoric. Wine was used at least from the time of the early Egyptians; narcotics from 4000 B.C.; and medicinal use of marijuana has been dated to 2737 B.C. in China. But it was not until the nineteenth century that the active substances in drugs were extracted. There was a time in history when some of these newly discovered substances, such as morphine, laudanum, cocaine, were completely unregulated and prescribed freely by physicians for a wide variety of ailments.
Canada's Drug of Choice: Marijuana
Contrary to popular belief, the rate of illicit drug use is actually on the decline. The most commonly used drug in Canada is Marijuana. According to the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS), 44.5% of Canadians surveyed said that that used pot at least once in their lifetime. (CAS, p.48)14.1% reported that they have used marijuana in the past twelve months. Those individuals that have used in the past year varies greatly, with 20.8% not having used at all in the past 3 months, while 24.9% claiming that they have used only once in the past 3 months. (CAS, p.51) 16% reported that they used monthly, 20.3% was weekly, with only 18.1% reporting to be using daily.(CAS, p.50) The province with the highest usage is British Columbia with an average that is significantly higher than the national level, at 52.1%. British Columbia also has the highest past year usage compared to the national average at 16.8%. (CAS, p.48)
As with alcohol, men (50.1%) are more likely than their female counterparts (39.2%) to have used marijuana during their life time. The same sample of men, 18.2%, and women, 10.2%, have used marijuana in the past year. (CAS, p.50) This is up from 5.7% for men and 2.4% for women in 1993, three times higher for the men and four times for the women.(Horizons, p.25) The …


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