"Despite"? Did they mean "Because"?

“Despite”? Are they sure they didn’t mean “Because”?

by Noni Mausa

From the online medical news resource Medscape, a very rich source of breaking health news, comes this study from the World Health Organization on worldwide drug use. Once again, world leader America takes the Number One position!


U.S. Leads the World in Illegal Drug Use
Jennifer Warner

WebMD Health News 2008. © 2008 WebMD Inc.

July 3, 2008 — Despite tough anti-drug laws, a new survey shows the U.S. has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world.

The World Health Organization’s survey of legal and illegal drug use in 17 countries, including the Netherlands and other countries with less stringent drug laws, shows Americans report the highest level of cocaine and marijuana use.

For example, Americans were four times more likely to report using cocaine in their lifetime than the next closest country, New Zealand (16% vs. 4%),

Marijuana use was more widely reported worldwide, and the U.S. also had the highest rate of use at 42.4% compared with 41.9% of New Zealanders.

In contrast, in the Netherlands, which has more liberal drug policies than the U.S., only 1.9% of people reported cocaine use and 19.8% reported marijuana use.


From the report: “Legal and illegal use of drugs was most strongly associated with age, sex, and income. Higher income was associated with a greater likelihood of drug use for all drug types examined, which is perhaps not surprising given that drug use requires disposable income….The use of drugs seems to be a feature of more affluent countries. The US… stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies, as well as (in many US states), a higher minimum legal alcohol drinking age than many comparable developed countries.”

The entire Medscape article is here and the actual report is here.

Comment from Noni: For some time I have thought that the rush and anxiety and the “lean and mean” approach to business have acted to supercharge the US demand for various drugs, either to escape the anxiety (cannabis, alcohol) or compete more fiercely in a business environment where a successful, admired participant has many of the qualities usually associated with a person taking cocaine and other stimulants. (“He’s amazing! He gets by on four hours of sleep a night, and just LOOK at his energy! Let’s make him our CEO!”)

And now, with the air hissing out of the balloon of US disposable income, what will happen to the lucrative drug trade? I won’t even guess, it could go either way, and I suppose it will. Another blow to the GDP.
This one by reader noni mausa

Rdan: My thought will be in comments.