Monday, December 31, 2018

The Most Consumed Legal Drugs in the World

When you hear the term “drugs”, you probably think of everything from cannabis to Extasy and the many other illicit substances that authorities constantly fight against.

Just to let you know, there are many drugs – as substances which have a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body – that are perfectly legal and consumed by huge masses of people all over the world. Today, we’ll take a look at the most consumed ones of them.

We won’t talk about cannabis, a drug legal in some countries, including Canada that expects it to be part of its economy later this year.


CAFFEINE
Is caffeine a drug? No way – this is probably your first reaction when reading this. But yes, caffeine is a drug – it not only fits the description but it’s also classified as one. Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee, tea, and several other plants like guarana, yerba mate, the kola nut (originally used to produce cola), and more than 60 plant species in total.

Caffeine is perhaps the most consumed legal drug in the world. Over 2.25 billion people – almost a third of the world’s population – consume coffee, and there are even more who drink tea, caffeinated sodas, and other products containing the drug. Caffeine is addictive, too, and those who stop consuming it will feel withdrawal symptoms that include headaches, depression, and such.

ALCOHOL
No way alcohol is a drug, you might say. But it is, and it’s one of the most popular ones in the world. Alcohol is a toxic, addictive drug that causes quick and thorough intoxication when consumed in high quantities, ranging from losing one’s balance to losing one’s judgment completely. Most people praise it for its digestive effects and for effectively dissolving their inhibitions. But alcohol is a dangerous substance directly responsible for millions of deaths in the world each year.

Nearly all adults consume alcohol at some point in their lives – some less, others more. It can be found in a vast variety of beverages in different concentrations, from weaker fermented varieties like kvass and kumis through beer and wine (the two most widespread forms of alcoholic drinks) to distilled spirits.

NICOTINE
This last one is probably the only entry on our list where you don’t exclaim in disbelief. Nicotine is a drug found mostly in tobacco – but you’ll be surprised to find that other plants in the nightshade family, like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and green peppers, too.

Nicotine is one of the most widely used drugs in the world today, with more than 1.1 billion smoking tobacco or engaging in another form of consuming it, like smoking a pipe, dipping snuff or chewing it. And it’s a dangerous one, too – more than 480,000 people die from cigarette smoking alone every year.

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