Drug Problem in Michigan

The Drug Problem in Michigan

The Drug Problem in Michigan

The problems of drug abuse and addiction affect every community in every state in the nation, which includes communities across the state of Michigan. Many individuals are under the impression that as long as they themselves do not suffer from these problems, they are not affected by them. This is an erroneous belief because the problems of drug abuse and addiction can lead to increased healthcare costs, lost work productivity and crime. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has indicated that drug abuse and addiction problems cost our nation over $600 billion each year in costs related to healthcare, crime and lost work productivity. It is clear, then, that everyone needs to take action to help resolve these problems, which begins with understanding these problems.

Drug Use in Michigan

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health is used to gather valuable information regarding the prevalence, patterns and consequences of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use and abuse among noninstitutionalized United States civilians aged twelve and older. According to the 2006-2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Michigan suffers from many of the same drug abuse and addiction problems as the rest of the country, sometimes to an even greater degree than the national average. The Michigan drug problem has seen these drug use trends and is broken down as follows:

Alcohol Use

While rarely even considered as a drug substance, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug substance in the United States. Over fifty-one percent of Americans aged twelve and older admitted to past month use of alcohol. This rate was even higher in Michigan, where more than fifty-five percent of residents aged twelve and older admitted to past month use of alcohol. This accounts for roughly four million six hundred sixty thousand individuals across the state.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks within a few hours and is considered to be risky alcohol consumption. Over twenty-three percent of Americans aged twelve and older admitted to binge alcohol use in the month prior to the survey. In Michigan, nearly twenty-five percent of residents aged twelve and older admitted to past month binge drinking. This accounts for roughly two million one hundred fifteen thousand individuals across the state.

Just less than forty-two percent of Americans aged twelve and older perceived a risk in consuming five or more alcoholic drinks once or twice a week. In Michigan, this rate was far lower, with just under thirty-eight percent of residents aged twelve or older perceiving a risk in consuming five or more alcoholic drinks once or twice a week. This accounts for roughly three million one hundred ninety-three thousand individuals across the state.

Over twenty-seven and a half percent of Americans between the ages of twelve and twenty admitted to past month alcohol use, with over eighteen percent of these individuals admitting to past month binge drinking. In comparison, nearly twenty-nine percent of Michigan residents between the ages of twelve to twenty admitted to past month alcohol use, which accounts for roughly three hundred seventy-five thousand individuals across the state, and more than eighteen and a half percent of Michigan residents between the ages of twelve and twenty admitted to past month binge drinking, which accounts for roughly two hundred forty-two thousand individuals across the state.

Illicit Drug Use

Over eight percent of all Americans aged twelve and older admitted to past month use of illicit drug substances. Unfortunately, the rate was much higher for the drug problem in Michigan, where more than nine percent of all residents aged twelve and older admitted to past month use of illicit drug substances. This accounts for roughly seven hundred sixty-five thousand individuals across the state.

Marijuana was the most commonly used and abused illicit drug substance, with nearly six percent of all Americans aged twelve and older admitting to past month marijuana use, and more than ten percent of all Americans aged twelve and older admitting to past year marijuana use. In Michigan, the rates of marijuana use were even higher, with nearly seven percent of all residents aged twelve and older admitting to past month marijuana use, accounting for about five hundred eighty-five thousand individuals across the state, and nearly twelve percent of all residents aged twelve and older admitting to past year marijuana use, accounting for about nine hundred ninety-one thousand individuals across the state.

Over thirty-eight percent of Americans aged twelve and older perceived a great risk of using marijuana once a month. In Michigan, just over thirty-four percent of residents aged twelve and older perceived a great risk of using marijuana once a month. Just over one and a half percent of Americans aged twelve and older reported using marijuana for the first time, but nearly two percent of Michigan residents aged twelve and older reported using marijuana for the first time. This accounts for roughly one hundred sixty-four thousand individuals across the state.

Non-marijuana illicit drug use includes the use of powder and crack cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and non-medical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutics. Over three and a half percent of Americans aged twelve and older admitted to past-month use of an illicit drug other than marijuana, and the rate for Michigan residents aged twelve and older admitting to past-month use of an illicit drug other than marijuana was subtly higher, accounting for roughly three hundred seventeen thousand individuals across the state.

Just under two and a half percent of Americans aged twelve and older reported using cocaine in the prior year, and this rate was lower for the drug problem in Michigan where just over two percent of residents aged twelve and older reported using cocaine in the prior year. This accounts for roughly one hundred seventy-seven thousand individuals across the state. Five percent of Americans aged twelve and older reported the non-medical use of pain relievers during the past year, and the Michigan rate was higher at over five and a half percent of residents aged twelve and older reporting the non-medical use of pain relievers during the past year, accounting for approximately four hundred seventy-seven thousand individuals across the state.

Just under two percent of Americans aged twelve and older showed signs of illicit drug dependence. In Michigan, just over two percent of residents aged twelve and older showed signs of illicit drug dependence, accounting for about one hundred seventy-one thousand individuals across the state.

Receiving Treatment Services

Many individuals who suffer from the problems of drug abuse or addiction may wish to be free from these problems, but find that they cannot achieve and maintain lasting sobriety on their own and without professional rehabilitation treatment services. However, many individuals who need these services fail to receive them, perhaps because they don’t feel they actually have a problem, because they are embarrassed about their inability to resolve these problems on their own, because they don’t feel these problems can be resolved, because they don’t know where to go to get help or because of some other reason. Unfortunately, this means that many individuals who desperately need help fail to receive it.

According to the 2006-2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over seven percent of all Americans aged twelve and older needed treatment for alcohol abuse problems but did not receive it. In Michigan, nearly seven and a half percent of residents aged twelve and older needed treatment for alcohol abuse problems but did not receive it. This accounts for about six hundred twenty-eight thousand individuals across the state.

Over two and a half percent of Americans aged twelve and older needed treatment for illicit drug abuse problems but did not receive it. This rate was just about the same among Michigan residents aged twelve and older, accounting for about two hundred fourteen thousand individuals across the state.

Solving the Drug Problem in Michigan

Handling the drug problem in Michigan begins by understanding the problem. Individuals who believe that drug substances are acceptable solutions to life problems may need to better understand what these substances are and how they affect the body. Effective drug education can go a long way in helping to prevent or even end drug problems. Effective and readily available rehabilitation treatment options can also help by providing individuals with the treatment resources they need to successfully recover from drug abuse and addiction problems and establish the foundation necessary for a healthy, happy and productive future.

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