Illegal drugs are becoming a huge bane to modern society. According to the website Drug Info nearly 15 percent of Australians are using illicit drugs.
Despite the fact that most drug users in Australia are in the age range of 21-27, there is an increase among the older age group who are using illicit drugs.
Worryingly, many teens as young as 14 years old are trying these illicit drugs out of curiosity or peer pressure.
The rise of performance enhancing drugs is also another problem that the world faces today. These unnatural performance enhancers are tainting the spirit of competition and fair-play in many sporting disciplines.
As the year ends, let us look back at the biggest illegal drug scandals of 2016.
Musical icon Prince dies of drug overdose
Illegal Drugs and rock are things that seem to come hand in hand. But when a musician dies suddenly from a drug overdose, it is nonetheless heartbreaking, to say the least.
Last April, the musical legend Prince was the latest in the long line of drug-related death for performers and musicians.
CNN reported that medical examination found that Prince died of an accidental opioid overdose.
The drug that killed Prince
Fentanyl is the name of the drug in question, and it is a powerful painkiller that is even more potent than morphine.
Fentanyl is being used by addicts as a recreational drug and is deviating from its medical purposes. Illicitly manufactured Fentanyl is causing a huge spike in Fentanyl-related deaths. By 2015, the use of the drug had increased sharply by 75 percent. It is expected to continue to increase even further in 2017.
The Russian doping scandal
The Russian doping scandal has been brewing in the news for years now. But it was just in 2016 when the world got to know how far reaching and extensive Russia’s doping scandal truly is.
The New York Times’ report started with the former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, admitting that he participated in a large government-supported operation for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.He admitted swapping out tainted urine samples from their athletes.
A web of lies
In July of this year, the World Anti-Doping Agency has assigned Canadian lawyer, Richard McLaren to look into the claims made by Rodchenkov. The results and evidence point out to a massive conspiracy that casts a large shadow over the Russian athletes and how their government encourages doping in their athletes.
According to McLaren’s report, there is no doubt that the Russian government and its secret service has been in an elaborate scheme to supply their athletes, even the underage Russian Ice Hockey team, with performance enhancing drugs and then covering it up.
This has led to a major shakedown in world sports and is certainly one of the biggest drug scandals of the year. As a result, a third of Russian Athletes were banned from the Rio Olympics and even in the Paralympics.
Baby dies after parents had a drug overdose
This story has the makings of a tragic urban legend, but what is really sad is the fact that it actually happened. In Johnston Pennsylvania, responders found a five-month-old infant dead from starvation after her parents died of an apparent drug overdose a week ago.
Though authorities have yet to publish a toxicology report, police found enough drugs inside the home to suspect that an accidental overdose is a culprit.
Not the first time
Child Welfare Service have already visited the home last November according to ABC News. Though the father was already treated by the emergency team from a drug overdose, the child welfare workers saw that the child was well-taken care of and did not see any reason to intervene.
Rampant substance abuse leads to bloody drug war in the Philippines
President Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine national elections by a landslide. His campaign was largely focused on the promise of ridding the Philippines of their massive drug problem.
Just three months in, the newly minted President was true to his word and launched a massive campaign to combat illegal drugs.
The international community was outraged and began voicing out their displeasure over the bloody war which claimed up to 3,000 bodies since its inception.
Rumors of extra-judicial killing and human rights violations have caused the United Nations to do some intervention in the Philippines. The New York Times reported one of the biggest drug scandals in further detail when a photojournalist braved the streets of the Philippines for 35 days where he chronicled 57 deaths.
The mercurial Rodrigo Duterte has been less than receptive towards the criticisms hurled towards his administration. He has vowed to continue the war on drugs and has threatened to dismantle the Philippines’ long-time relationship with Washington.
George Karl calls out the NBA for performance enhancing drugs
The NBA has one of the toughest drug testing procedures in American sports. So when George Karl said in his new book that the NBA has a widespread drug problem it caused a huge uproar.
George Karl, longtime NBA head coach, has been suspicious of NBA players recovering so fast and going to Germany for treatment.
Players like Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade have gone to Germany for platelet-rich plasma therapy.
The drama unfolds
According to NBC Sports, it is unknown if George Karl was referring to those players specifically. The whole drama is still unfolding as we speak. Time will tell what will happen with Karl’s accusation to the seemingly clean league.
2016 marked one of the major drug scandals in sports as well as having one of the bloodiest drug wars in history. Hopefully, 2017 will be the year that the drug menace is greatly hammered out in sports and society.