The world’s first comprehensive report on global addictions has revealed that more than 12% of British people have an alcohol disorder, compared with nearly 8% of people in the US and almost 4% of Australians.

The report, from the University of Adelaide also revealed that Australians smoke less tobacco and drink less alcohol than the British, but take more illegal drugs.

Global Addiction Statistics

The study found that 10.3% of Australians smoke cannabis at least once in a 12-month period, compared to 5 to 7% of people in the UK. Around 3% use ecstasy compared to 1.1 to 1.7% of people in the UK.

2.1% of Australians use amphetamine-like drugs at least once in a 12 month period, compared to 1.1 to 1.7% of people in the UK, according to the research published in the Journal of Addiction.

The study revealed Alcohol and tobacco as the most widely-used vices worldwide, showing that around 84% of Australians drinking alcohol at least once in a 12-month period, compared to 83.9% in the UK and 68.9% in the US. However, 3.7% of Australians are considered to have an alcohol disorder, compared to 12.1% in the UK and 7.8% in the US.

Australians also smoke less in comparison to the British, although it is still relatively common with 20% of Australians smoking tobacco at least once in a 12-month period, compared with 22% of Brits. Unfortunately, as the study did not provide any data on US rates of illegal drug taking and smoking, no comparison can be made in this regard.

Addiction and Health Problems

The Study’s lead author, Linda Gowing, an associate professor at the University of Adelaide, explained more about the dangers of these addictions saying: “The report found alcohol and tobacco are the most common addictions in the most countries and they are also the most harmful. Around 11% of deaths in males and 6% of deaths in females are linked to tobacco each year globally. Alcoholism is associated with a range of health issues and takes years off someone’s life.”

She also explained the importance of information provided by such reports adding: “This data is highly valuable and can be used to guide policy-makers and researchers in the planning responses to addictions world-wide.”

Professor Gowing added: “It is relevant to deciding where to direct our activities both in health and in other strategies that may be used to try and manage the consequences of addictions.”

Alcohol Disorder Identification

If you feel as though you or someone close to you may have an alcohol disorder or a drug addiction, you may need to first identify the extent of the problem. For independent support and advice please visit our support services page.

To indentify and quantify the problem you may wish to take an alcohol test or a drug test. This may reveal that alcohol or drugs are being taken in dangerous levels or to the point that is considered chronic, excessive consumption or a dependency.

Depending on a customer’s chosen testing method, AlphaBiolabs’ Drug & Alcohol testing can reveal whether someone has a particular drug currently within their system and in what quantity or to provide a history of intake over a period of months. These testing methods, such as urine testing and hair testing can also be combined for the most comprehensive overview of both current and prior intake of particular substance if required.

Our testing methods follow strict procedures maintaining chain of custody throughout the entire process. Alongside our UKAS accreditation, this means that our drug and alcohol legal testing can provide court approved results for drug testing and alcohol testing that are accepted by family law courts, the Ministry of Justice and the Child Support Agency.