Drug Problem in America

The Drug Problem in America

The Drug Problem in America

Drug abuse and addiction are complex problems that can begin quite innocently and escalate very rapidly. Usually, an individual turns to drug use in order to cope with some problem in their life that they feel either unwilling or entirely unable to resolve on their own.

There are a variety of reasons an individual may choose to turn to drug use, including:

  1. They are experiencing discomfort due to peer pressure.
  2. They are stressed or anxious about some situation in their life.
  3. They feel overwhelmed by conditions at work.
  4. They are experiencing financial difficulties.
  5. They are having problems in their relationships.
  6. They have encountered physical, mental or emotional pain.

Whatever the individual’s reason for turning to drug use, what they often fail to understand is that drug substances cannot resolve the problems for which they are taken. These substances interfere with the normal functions of the human body, thereby suppressing undesirable sensations and stimulating desirable sensations. In this way, they can provide the individual with much-needed relief, and give them the impression that drugs are helping them. This can lead the individual to continue using these substances until they become entirely dependent upon them, and no longer have any choice over whether they use them and how much. Without professional help and treatment, the individual can remain trapped in these problems indefinitely.

Drug Trends in America

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, gathers valuable information regarding the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use and abuse among noninstitutionalized United States civilians over the age of eleven. This survey indicates that there is an ongoing pattern of drug use that has, unfortunately, not improved significantly enough in the past few years. America’s drug problem has only seemed to increase. According to the 2013 survey results among adults aged twenty-six and older:

  • Nearly seventy percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year alcohol use. This is compared to just about seventy percent in 2012 and just over sixty-nine percent in 2011.
  • Over twenty-four and a half percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year cigarette use. This is compared to over twenty-five percent in 2012 and nearly twenty-five percent in 2011.
  • Nearly four percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year smokeless tobacco use. This is compared to four percent in 2012 and over three and a half percent in 2011.
  • More than twelve percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year illicit drug use. This is compared to just over twelve percent in 2012 and just under eleven percent in 2011.
  • More than one percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year cocaine use. This is compared to nearly one and a half percent in 2012 and one percent in 2011.
  • More than nine percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year marijuana use. This is compared to over eight and a half percent in 2012 and just under eight percent in 2011.
  • Nearly five percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year non-medical use of psychotherapeutics. This is compared to just over five percent in 2012 and more than four percent in 2011.
  • Nearly three and a half percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year pain reliever use. This is compared to nearly four percent in 2012 and over three percent in 2011.

In individuals between the ages of eighteen to twenty-five, some survey results indicated drug use rates are alarmingly high, including:

  • Nearly Seventy-seven percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year alcohol use. This is compared to nearly seventy-seven and a half percent in 2012 and seventy-seven percent in 2011.
  • Thirty-nine and a half percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year cigarette use. This is compared to forty-one percent in 2012 and more than forty-two percent in 2011.
  • More than nine percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year smokeless tobacco use. This is compared to nine percent in 2012 and nearly nine and a half percent in 2011.
  • Nearly thirty-six percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year illicit drug use. This is compared to more than thirty-six percent in 2012 and more than thirty-five percent in 2011.
  • Nearly four and a half percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year cocaine use. This is compared to more than four and a half percent both in 2012 and 2011.
  • Nearly seven percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year hallucinogen use. This is compared to six and a half percent in 2012 and nearly seven percent in 2011.
  • Four percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year MDMA use. This is compared to just over four percent both in 2012 and 2011.
  • More than thirty-one and a half percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year marijuana use. This is compared to thirty-one and a half percent in 2012 and just under thirty-one percent in 2011.
  • Four and a half percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year tranquilizer use. This is compared to two percent in 2012 and four and a half percent in 2011.
  • More than twelve percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year non-medical use of psychotherapeutics. This is compared to nearly fourteen percent in 2012 and nearly thirteen percent in 2011.
  • Nearly nine percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year pain reliever use. This is compared to over ten percent in 2012 and nearly ten percent in 2011.
  • Nearly four percent of individuals surveyed admitted to past year stimulant use. This is compared to just under four percent in 2012 and just over three percent in 2011.

How Drug Problems Affect Everyone

When it comes to the problems of drug abuse and addiction, many individuals believe that as long as they themselves do not suffer from these problems, they aren’t affected by them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The effects of drug use, abuse and addiction are not isolated around the individual who is suffering from these problems, but rather can affect their family, their community and indeed the nation at large. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that drug abuse and addiction problems cost our nation over $600 billion each year in lost work productivity, crime, and healthcare. These costs can be further broken down as follows:

  • Tobacco: $96 billion in healthcare costs and $193 billion overall.
  • Alcohol: $30 billion in healthcare costs and $235 billion overall.
  • Illicit drugs: $11 billion in healthcare costs and $193 billion overall.

Clearly, America is suffering from an extensive drug problem that drains our national resources and diminishes the quality of life for many individuals. It then becomes an important national effort to prevent and solve drug abuse and addiction problems.

The Solution to the Drug Problem in America

The solution to the drug problem in America is effective prevention strategies, including drug education, as well as effective rehabilitation treatment. In many cases, an individual who is suffering from the problems of drug abuse and addiction is aware of the damaging effects these problems are having on their health, relationships, and life, and they often desire to permanently end their relationship with drugs. However, few individuals understand how to go about achieving full and lasting recovery, and therefore need help, support and encouragement from others. Professional rehabilitation treatment facilities have the knowledge, training and experience to help individuals successfully address and resolve their drug abuse and addiction problems. While no one may argue that the path to full recovery is often long and hard, it is definitely possible to fully recover from drug abuse and addiction and it is very well worth doing so.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen − five =