Higher Number of People Abusing Drugs in America

2013nsduhNearly 25 million people aged 12 and over in the United States are using drugs, according to the latest findings of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This accounts for 9.4 percent of that population – a number that has continued to increase.

Despite all the media attention and firsthand accounts of the terrors of drug abuse, the number accounts for nearly 10 percent of people in that age range who have used illicit drugs within the past month. The startling number is an indicator that law enforcement, public officials, the health care system and parents have a lot more work to do when it comes to educating people on the dangers of illegal drugs.

Of the nearly 10 percent of Americans abusing drugs, almost 20 million of them admit to using marijuana. This may be increasing because of new state laws regarding marijuana use, such as recreational use being legalized in Colorado and Washington, as well as a growing number of states approving the drug for medicinal use. This new attitude regarding marijuana is likely the reason that more and more people feel that it is an acceptable drug to use and abuse.

The drug use of course does not stop at marijuana, as 4.5 million people living in this country admit that they are abusing prescription painkillers. There are also 1.5 million people who are abusing cocaine within the last month, 595,000 people abusing methamphetamine and 289,000 heroin users.

With roughly 23 million people in the country meeting the criteria for drug or alcohol abuse, only 2.5 million actually received help. Despite more favorable laws regarding addiction treatment, there is still a shortage of beds and funding available for many of them. The number could also rise if more people took the initiative to help save the lives of their friends and family members through interventions.

What many people fail to realize is that the family members themselves are also in need of intervention. The enabling and co-dependency behaviors are major contributors to the continuation of alcohol and drug addiction. For more information on successful intervention practices, contact Family First Intervention Today.

Mike Loverde

With firsthand experience with addiction, Mike Loverde is now a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), as accredited by the Association of Intervention Specialists and the Pennsylvania Certification Board. He founded Family First Intervention in 2008 and has since helped hundreds of families find intervention and addiction rehabilitation solutions.

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