Drug abuse and addiction

Mymensingh Med J. 2008 Jul;17(2):227-35.


Among the social and medical ills of the twentieth century, substance abuse ranks as on one of the most devastating and costly. The drug problem today is a major global concern including Bangladesh. Almost all addictive drugs over stimulate the reward system of the brain, flooding it with the neurotransmitter dopamine. That produces euphoria and that heightened pleasure can be so compelling that the brain wants that feeling back again and again. However repetitive exposure induces widespread adaptive changes in the brain. As a consequence drug use may become compulsive. An estimated 4.7% of the global population aged 15 to 64 or 184 million people, consume illicit drug annually. Heroin use alone is responsible for the epidemic number of new cases of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and drug addicted infant born each year. Department of narcotic control (DNC) in Bangladesh reported in June 2008 that about 5 million drug addicts in the country & addicts spend at least 17 (Seventeen) billion on drugs per year. Among these drug addicts, 91% are young and adolescents population. Heroin is the most widely abused drugs in Bangladesh. For geographical reason like India, Pakistan and Myanmar; Bangladesh is also an important transit root for internationally trafficking of illicit drug. Drug abuse is responsible for decreased job productivity and attendance increased health care costs, and escalations of domestic violence and violent crimes. Drug addiction is a preventable disease. Through scientific advances we now know much more about how exactly drugs work in the brain, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and resume their productive lives. Most countries have legislation designed to criminalize some drugs. To decrease the prevalence of this problem in our setting; increase awareness, promoting additional research on abused and addictive drugs, and exact implementation of existing laws are strongly recommended. We should also deserve renewed attention on prescription drug abuse. It is imperative that as a nation we make ourselves aware of the consequences associated with drug abuse. Otherwise devastating effects of drug will destroy the manpower and economic growth of the country.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bangladesh
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Prescription Drugs*
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders*


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs