Global Opioid Use Rates

"In 2018, 57.8 million people globally were estimated to have used opioids in the past year, a figure that includes those who had used opiates (30.4 million) and those who had misused pharmaceutical opioids.32 This corresponds to a past-year prevalence of opioid use of 1.2 per cent of the global population aged 15–64. The use of opioids is higher than the global average in North America (3.6 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (3.3 per cent), the Near and Middle East and South-West Asia (2.6 per cent) and South Asia (2.0 per cent). The population of South Asia accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 and more than one third of the estimated number of opioid users worldwide live in that subregion.

"The past-year prevalence of opiate use is higher than the global average (0.6 per cent) in the Near and Middle East and South-West Asia (1.8 per cent) and South Asia (1.1 per cent), two subregions that together account for almost 60 per cent of the estimated number of opiate users worldwide.

"Although global estimates are not available, the nonmedical use of pharmaceutical opioids is reported in many countries, in particular in countries in West and North Africa and the Near and Middle East (tramadol), and in North America (hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, tramadol and fentanyl)."

Source: 

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).