Global Variability of Substance Abuse

Worldwide substance abuse consequences are a major problem challenging health planners and providers. To mediate these problems effectively, further information on the variability of substance abuse prevalence and associated causes is needed. There is some evidence suggesting that latitude may present unique etiology for substance abuse because of northerly conditions such as extreme light and dark cycles and longer periods of cold harsh environment. This hypothesis is investigated by reviewing the known literature and applying methods for evaluating latitude as a geophysical grouping characteristic on archival substance abuse data. Conclusions are based on previous findings and examples of alcohol-attributable mortality for populations from six northern areas and the United States.

Paschane D. Variability of substance abuse. Global variability of substance abuse: is latitude a unique etiological factor? University of Alaska, Anchorage, USA. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 1998 Oct, 57:4, 228-38.

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