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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Jan;1216:62-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05914.x.

The history and current state of drug abuse in Japan.

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National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Drug Dependence Research, Kodaira, Japan.


Drug abuse in Japan began after World War II and has been characterized by three epidemics of methamphetamine abuse; in addition, solvent abuse has been prominent for a long time. Since 1995, with the beginning of the third epidemic of methamphetamine abuse, drug abuse or dependence in Japan changed, with a marked decrease in solvent abuse, stabilization of methamphetamine abuse, an increase in the abuse of such drugs as cannabis or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (which do not have high potential of causing drug-induced psychosis), and the emergence of designer drugs. Furthermore, the abuse of medical drugs such as Ritalin became a major issue in 2007. These changes reveal an increase in the abuse of drugs that do not as easily produce a psychotic state, underlain with a shift from personal conduct that leads to arrest to conduct that does not. Japan, therefore, needs to deal with drug abuse and dependence using not only a medical model, but also a criminal model as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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