The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently announced the release of its first annual Behavioral Health Barometer. This new report is one of the most comprehensive collection of substance abuse and mental health statistics available, as it compiles data not only from multiple measuring tools.
The report includes information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health by SAMHSA, the Monitoring The Future Survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data on the use of mental health and substance use treatment services by Medicare enrollees by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The information is available on a national level and is also broken down by individual states.
What this collection of information does is help researchers, program providers, prevention experts and treatment professionals to understand the trends in substance abuse and how to effectively address them. One promising trend is that the nonmedical use of pain reliivers among younger people is finally tipping downward after many years of increasing. On the flip side, many of those who have formerly misused prescription narcotics have moved on to using heroin.
Past-year alcohol abuse or dependence also saw an uptick from 2011 to 2012. There are more than 17 million people in America with alcohol problems over the age of 12, though the percentages are still slightly down from 2008 statistics. Additionally, the rate of illicit drug abuse or dependance has remained fairly steady, which amounted to more than 7 million people.
If you have a friend or family member struggling some form of substance abuse or another behavioral health problem, contact us today for information on how you can get them the help they need.