Drug abuse has become a global issue of concern. It affects not only individual users, but also their families and communities. Data were retrieved from the database of the Taiwan Surveillance System of Drug Abuse and Addiction Treatment (SSDAAT) from 2002 to 2011, and 147,660 cases reported by medical institutions in Taiwan were reviewed. This study showed that the top five reported abused drugs by medical institutions during the last decade were heroin, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, ketamine, and zolpidem. Heroin and methamphetamine continued to be the first two abused drugs reported by medical institutions. Heroin abuse was significant, but has shown a downward trend. However, emerging abused drugs, such as ketamine and zolpidem, presented upward trends. 3,4- Methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) abuse seems to have re-emerged and has increased gradually since 2010. Injection without needle sharing has become the most common route of administration of abused drugs since 2002. The majority of causes for these reported drug abuses were drug dependence, followed by peer influence and stress relief. Hepatitis C was the most commonly reported infectious disease, followed by hepatitis B and AIDS in the drug abusers reported by medical institutions. It should be noted that access to drugs via the Internet increased year by year, and this is clearly an area needing constant monitoring. Copyright © 2013, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan.

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