Drug abuse has been in existence since the primitive era. The history of the human race has been the history of drug abuse itself. The consumption or use of drugs does not necessarily constitute evil. Drugs properly administered, have been a medical blessing. However, human beings have used chemicals to alter their behaviour even in primitive societies. At that time, plants that influence perceptions and consciousness were eaten, smoked or snorted. The resultant effect is that over the past few decades, the consumption of illegal drugs has spread at an unprecedented rate and has reached every part of the world. According to a United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report in 2005, some 200 million people or 5 percent of total world’s population aged 1 5-64 have used drug at least once in the last 12 months, an implied 15 million people more than the 2004 estimate. The report goes on to say that, no nation has immunity over the devastating effects of substance abuse.
Similarly, the World Drugs Report (2005) observed that the use of illicit drugs has increased throughout the world in recent years. The report further noted that a major trend is the increasing availability of many kinds of drugs to an ever-widening socio-economic spectrum of consumers. The report argues that the main problem of drugs at the global level continue to be opiates (notably heroine) followed by cocaine. For example, for most of Europe and Asia, opiates continued to be the main problem of drugs, accounting for 65% of all treatment of substance abuse in 2003. Reports from a total of 95 countries indicated that drug seizures increased four-fold in 2003 and more than half of these were cannabis (UNODC, 2005).
Another report released by United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in 2004 estimated that 3.3% to 4.1% of the global population consumes drugs but more worrisome is that according to the UNDCP executive director-, those who are dependent are getting younger and younger every year. In Pakistan for example, it was reported that the share of those who started heroine use at 15-20 years has doubled to almost 24% of those surveyed. Another survey in the Czech Republic showed that 37% of new drug users were teenagers between 15 and 19 years old (Aniuzu, 2012).
Every country in the world, developed or developing incurs substantial cost as a result of negative effects caused by substance abuse (World Drug Report, 2005). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1. 1 billion people representing a third of the world population above the age of 15 years, use tobacco, principally in the form of cigarettes. Out of these 800 million smokers, 700 million are from developing countries (WHO, 2004).