We've seen a big rise in recreational drug use worldwide

The United Nations World Drug Report says worldwide use of recreational drugs is up 30% in the past ten years. It says more than one in twenty of those 15 to 64 used recreational drugs in 2017.

UT-Health's Dr. Austin Lin, an addiction psychiatrist with McGovern Medical School and UT Physicians, says he thinks the rise is tied to mental illness.

"We also see a big rise in depression and anxiety and often times people will what we call self-medicate their symptoms of depression and anxiety with various drugs."

Dr. Lin says people are more likely to report mental issues these days.

"There seems to be a trend where more people are more forthcoming about it and we actually have good treatments available to help with depression, anxiety and substance abuse."

Dr. Lin says he worries about the surge in marijuana use because it's much more potent now.

"Marijuana today is very different from the marijuana back in the 60s and 70s; it's much more potent now, meaning that the level of THC in the marijuana can be a lot stronger."

The report says more than 47,000 deaths were recorded in the U.S. in 2017, many of them attributed to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

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