Global scientific production on illicit drug addiction: A two-decade analysis

Malahat Khalili, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar, Behrang Shadloo, Ramin Mojtabai, Karl Mann, Masoumeh Amin-Esmaeili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Aims: Addiction science has made great progress in the past decades. We conducted a scientometric study in order to quantify the number of publications and the growth rate globally, regionally, and at country levels. Methods: In October 2015, we searched the Scopus database using the general keywords of addiction or drug-use disorders combined with specific terms regarding 4 groups of illicit drugs-cannabis, opioids, cocaine, and other stimulants or hallucinogens. All documents published during the 20-year period from 1995 to 2014 were included. Results: A total of 95,398 documents were retrieved. The highest number of documents were on opioids, both globally (60.1%) and in each of 5 continents. However, studies on cannabis showed a higher growth rate in the last 5-year period of the study (2010-2014). The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, China, and Japan- A lmost all studies were from high-income countries-occupied the top 10 positions and produced 81.4% of the global science on drug addiction. Conclusion: As there are important socio-cultural differences in the epidemiology and optimal clinical care of addictive disorders, it is suggested that low- A nd more affected middle-income countries increase their capacity to conduct research and disseminate the knowledge in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Addiction Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Bibliometrics
  • Drug dependence
  • Geographic mapping
  • Scientometry
  • Substance abuse
  • World

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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