The Correlation of Drug Abuse and Gross Domestic Product in Asian Countries

Chiao-Chicy Chen, Chian-Jue Kuo, 蔡 尚穎(Shang-Ying Tsai)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Drug abuse is a worldwide problem that causes tremendous economic burden. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between drug abuse and the strength of the economic condition using gross domestic product (GDP) in Asian countries. Methods: Forty-two countries in Asia were included in this study. We analyzed the materials of database from the 2006 Report of United Nation Office on Drug and Crime, Website of World Bank, and data from Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice, Executive Yuan, Taiwan. Results: The number of cannabis use was found to be negatively correlated with GDP of 34 Asian countries, but the correlation had significant trend (r=-0.33, p=0.061, n=34). The abuse of amphetamine and GDP showed similar negative correlation but lack of statistical significance. The number of abusing Ecstasy was found to have positive correlation but without statistical significance (n=14 countries). The number of abusing opiate was found to be negatively correlated with GDP but with significant trend (r=-0.31, p=0.055, n=39). Opiate abuse was found to be significantly related to the low income level in Asian countries if Iran (where was an outlier in the number of opiate abuse) was excluded (r=0.42, p=0.009, n=38). Conclusion: Based on the results of present study, we suggest that people in low-income Asian countries, had a serious problem in opiate abuse. The results of the present study call for attentions to do more research on drug abuse and psychosocial issues in Asia.
Translated title of the contribution亞洲國家的藥物濫用與國內生產毛額之相關性
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • drug abuse
  • GDP
  • Taiwan
  • Asia


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