An article recently published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry provides a systematic analysis of the burden of diseases caused by addiction to amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine and opioids in South America from 1990 to 2019. The Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) study group estimated the incidence, prevalence, mortality, years of life lost (YLL), years of life with disability (YLD), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) related to substance dependence in each of the 12 South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela). The analyses included comparisons by gender and country, as well as against regional and global estimates.
“The job was to analyze the large database of the Global Burden of Diseases to observe the trend in the use of these substances over that period in South America and the burden of related diseases”, explained the researcher at Fiocruz Pernambuco Rafael Moreira, who is part of the team of scientists from different countries responsible for the study.
Among the findings described in the publication, Brazil had the highest rate of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to cocaine use in 2019, approximately double of that observed in 1990. Regarding opioids, there was an increase in DALYs per 100,000 inhabitants in Brazil (82) and Peru (70), while the rate related to marijuana use remained stable throughout the study period.