The death of some celebrities in certain circumstances, as in the case of singer Michael Jackson, has aroused the interest of the United Nations drug control agency on the abuse of prescription drugs that, in the USA, for example, about 6.2 million people during 2008, which makes it the most relevant type of substance abuse, after the cannabis.

In European countries, such as France and Italy, between 10 and 18 percent of students habitually use sedatives or tranquilizers; while, in Germany, between 1.4 and 1.9 million people are addicted to prescription drugs. Hamid Ghodse, director of the Center for Medicines Policy of the Saint George University of London, and one of the authors of the report of the UN committee, warns that the abuse of these drugs is a difficult problem to detect that has spread throughout the planet in the last decade, and it is necessary to face it as soon as possible.

The "drug of the rapists"

The INCB also warns about the increase that has occurred in the use of new legal drugs to commit sexual crimes, such as ketamine and the gamma butyrolactone (GBL), which are easy to get in many countries. Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) was the drug of choice for the rapists, who diluted it in the victim's drink without it being noticed, but its use has diminished with the establishment of a stricter control.

It is important to highlight that the illegal sale of drugs through the Internet is an extraordinary source of supply for this type of consumers, so the INCB insists that governments take appropriate measures to control the illegal electronic commerce of medicines.

The Overdose Epidemic: Heroin and Prescription Drugs (November 2019).