The results of a macro, cross-national study commissioned by the World Health Organisation’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative seem to confirm every myth of drug consumption. Firstly, the research emphasises the very close relationship between youth and drug use arguing that there is a bigger drug involvement among younger people than older generations in all countries. This generational gap suggests that drug use has and may continue to change over historical time. Secondly, and as another consequence of modernity and gender equality women are beginning to shift the traditional patterns of a male consumption culture, by creating a culture of their own. In this sense it must be noted that the archetypical masculine use and abuse of all sort of drugs is being complemented by a young female sense of consumption flourishing as a result of women’s economic and emotional independence. And thirdly, and partly related to the other two, the study also exposes the adolescence as the period of risk of initiation of legal and illegal drugs.
Another typical conclusion is that the use of legal and illegal drugs was most strongly associated with income, meaning that the higher it the income the greater the likelihood of drug consumption. This, of course does not offer anything new to debate on the war on drugs because on the one hand drug use requires disposable income and on the other the interviews of this particular research were conducted in people’s homes ignoring the reality of the homeless, the mentally ill, the prisoners or many other victims of incorrect drug policies. The exclusion of the marginalised victims however, proved the idea that drug use does not appear to be related to drug policy as countries with stricter legislation (i.e. USA) did not have lower levels of illegal drug use than countries with more liberal approaches (i.e. The Netherlands). For this reason it is easy to conclude that the WHO fails to open the debate between the victims and the real victimisers of the drugs world
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