Washington: Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug used worldwide, according to the first-ever global survey of illicit drug abuse.
The study revealed that despite Marijuana being the most popular drug, addictions to popular painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin and codeine kill the most people.
In addition to cannabis and opioid painkillers, scientists analyzed abuse of cocaine and amphetamines in 2010, largely based on previous studies.
According to a news website, the researchers found that for all the drugs studied, men in their 20s had the highest rates of abuse.
The study, which was published online in the journal, Lancet, revealed that the worst-hit countries were Australia, Britain, Russia and the U.S.
Theo Vos, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the study`s senior author, said that people tended to abuse drugs produced close to home: cocaine in North America, amphetamines and opioids in Asia and Australia.
The lowest rates of drug abuse were in Asia and Africa.
According to the report, Vos said countries with harsh laws against drugs had worse death rates for addicts when compared to countries who relied on other policies to wean people off drugs, such as needle exchange programs and methadone clinics.