Addiction is a global issue that has impacted everyone around the world. However, ever since the opioid epidemic hit the United States, many people including the Americans started believing that addiction only exists in their country. For many people, the United States houses the worst addiction problems globally. Although this is true and it cannot be neglected, there are other countries as well who are neck-deep in addiction.

Aside from suffering the wrath of addiction, some of these countries offer very few opportunities for their citizens to seek treatment. Unlike the United States, there are not many treatment programs designed specifically to help those suffering from addiction. The situation becomes worse for drug users who are homeless and cannot afford the high paying treatment available. As a result, people don’t get the medical attention required for their issue and often end up developing several mental health disorders while also having an underlying addiction problem.

In a study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people with an addiction disorder must have access to a treatment to prevent the situation from worsening. Many countries do not fully offer the treatments required for substance abuse disorder and instead, these countries criminalize drug use and those who are found abusing any illicit substance are thrown into jail. This is exactly opposite to what a medical approach towards addiction looks like. Instead of providing them with proper rehabilitation, drug addicts are put into jail to deal on their own or worse, are sentenced to death for their long-term substance abuse.

The problem is with the already shaking medical system of these countries. The poor structure of medical facilities in such countries restricts the ruling power to classify rehabilitation as much-needed assistance for drug addicts. Thus, this becomes less of a priority for them. But what countries are these? Let’s have a look.

Addiction in…


The country is the number one producer of opium and is also the center of the opium trade. Many reports stated that Afghanistan has now developed ways in which they refine the produced opium into heroin, a more affordable and highly addictive drug. Further reports also state that around 1 million residents of the country are addicted to heroin. Drug use can also be linked to the involvement of Afghanistan in wars and violence over the years, and people using drugs as a way to cope with the trauma. Production of cheap heroin is constantly increasing which can be related to the growing drug epidemic in the country.

Almost 90 percent of all heroin used in Europe sources from this country. In addition to manufacturing drugs, the country also lacks to offer proper treatment to those who are affected. The country sees a potential spike in drug abuse even in young children.


When compared to other countries, the addiction rate in Iran is significantly higher. A large percentage of the population uses drugs such as heroin, opium, and crystal meth. However, the country does have some treatment programs to work towards eradicating addiction. Various methadone clinics, charities, and needle-exchange programs are working all together to fight addiction.

However, high rates of unemployment, inflation, and illegal import of cheap heroin from Afghanistan makes it very difficult for the Iranian people to fight substance abuse. Also, a strong Islamic presence in the country targets addiction with severe penalties or even by sentencing drug addicts to death. However, many changes are voiced for people with non-violent drug addiction.


Drug users injecting drugs directly into the veins has become quite a problem for the country. The issue persists more in young adults and teenagers who are more likely to abuse drugs and then develop an addiction eventually. Although Russian officials claim that the country has 1 million heroin users, many experts believe that the actual number can be somewhere near 2 million. The drug abuse spiked tremendously after the Soviet Union fell in the 1990s.

Russia has also become one of the many countries to experience a rapid HIV/AIDS expansion. This is caused by using dirty or used needles among friends to inject drugs. Since the ruling power doesn’t support harm reduction techniques such as needle-exchange programs or methadone clinics, many drug users tend to go the other way. This is the reason why such diseases are rapidly increasing across the country.


The country is known to manufacture, sell, and possess drugs and later distribute them across many Chinese individuals and to neighboring provinces. Although this is punishable by law in China, many people are still found to have a substance abuse disorder. The approach used to curb the issue of addiction in the country is also more inclined towards the law. Every year, around 2,000 people are executed for possessing drugs and having an addiction.

Great Britain

The stats for Great Britain regarding addiction is too high. More than 15 million people accept the fact that they try drugs, where around 3 million accept to intake drugs regularly. While most of the residents do not prefer reporting a drug abuse issue, around 1 million people report their current problem with addiction. In Great Britain, the most commonly abused substance is marijuana, followed by methamphetamine and cocaine.


Malaysia is known to be very strict on tourists when it comes to the illicit use of banned substances. However, the same country also suffers from a growing issue of drug addiction. They have stricter laws regarding selling, trafficking, possessing, and distributing drugs, but the equally ignorant health care system does not address the rapidly increasing addiction problem in the country.


Substance abuse disorder is a genuine brain disease that impacts the physical, mental, emotional, as well as social health of an individual. Since we live in the 21st century with all the technological advancements, there must be a resolution for this issue by now. However, although the concept of drug addiction is not new, it is highly complex even for medical professionals to understand. Establishing proper treatment programs and making those easily accessible for the public is the only way this battle against addiction can end in our favor. It will take time to get past the addictive traits, but with the right approach and proper guidance, patients can live and enjoy the sober life that they seek.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.