Addiction StatisticsHere are some facts that may surprise or sadden you about Addiction. As with most issues about addiction, there is much that is unexpected; the costs are much higher than expected and the causes are sadder than expected. That fact that child abuse is such a strong predictor of abuse speaks volumes about the problem. See what you think:
Addiction Statistics 1:Substance Abuse and addiction, according to the National Institute of Health, impacts all Americans, because we all pay the cost for it. Addiction Statistics 2:Statistics show that Drug-Addiction and Substance Abuse cost Americans over $484 billion annually. This figure includes healthcare costs (and abuses of that system), lost job wages, traffic accidents, crime and the associated criminal justice system costs.Addiction Statistics 3:According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10 to 22 percent of car crashes involved drivers who have been using drugs.Addiction Statistics 4:Drug use and addiction is linked to at least half of the major crimes in this country, as at least half of the suspects arrested for violent crimes, such as homicide and assault, were under the influence of drugs when they were arrested.Addiction Facts 5:Stress is a major factor in drug use and abuse. Substance Abuse Final Fact 6:Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people in Substance Abuse treatment report that they were physically or sexually abused as children. Child abuse is a major contributing factor to Substance Abuse.
Questions and AnswersIn our society, drug addiction and drug abuse are ever-present issues that impact every community, every group of people, every income level and drug addiction statistics indicate that it costs hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money each year.But drug addiction and abuse are not merely social problems, and often people will incorrectly point to drug addiction and drug abuse as criminal acts, or caused by people of weak character, or something that people can just stop by sheer will power.More about Addiction StatisticsAddiction is a disease. Drug addiction impacts the brain and is far more complex than simply referring to it as a behavioral problem. Advances in science have revealed how drugs interact with brain chemistry, leading to new treatment techniques and greater possibilities of addicts returning to a healthy and productive life.This page is designed to answer some of the questions you may have concerning drug abuse and addiction. It is by no means an exhaustive listing, but hopefully will give you an overview of addiction disease in this country.Addiction Statistics: HealthWhat is drug addiction? Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease. Addicts crave more and more drug, as they are captivated by its effects. The structure and function of the brain are changed with repeated use, and over time the act of using drugs is no longer voluntary and no longer for pleasure. Addicts self-medicate to feel “good” or feel “normal” They experience intense craving for the drug and even after treatment, relapse is possibleWhy is it hard to stop using? The changes in brain chemistry that cause the intense craving do not just go away when a person stops using. Treatment is necessary to assist where mere willpower cannot go alone. Sometimes medications are called for, not only to help with drug withdrawal, but with coping with the cravings. The medical intervention is designed to help addicts cope with the disease and regain their control.Can drug addiction be managed? Drug addiction is a chronic disease, like asthma, heart disease or diabetes. It is not uncommon for drug addicts to relapse, just as it is not uncommon for sufferers of other chronic disease to relapse. However, additional treatment will help bring back control.What happens to the brain when people take drugs? Drugs change the brain’s communications system. Drugs impact the brain’s normal chemical makeup in two ways. Drugs can mimic the brain’s natural chemical messengers and/or they can over stimulate the brain’s natural “reward system.” For example, marijuana and heroin are drugs that share a similar structure to the brain’s chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters.Because the structure is similar, marijuana and heroin can “fool” the brain’s chemical receptors and cause nerve cells to send abnormal messages. Other drugs, like cocaine or methamphetamine, will cause nerve cells to over release natural neurotransmitters and prevent the brain from recycling these natural brain chemicals. This causes an unusually greater message to be carried, and in the end, it changes normal brain communication.Why do people take these drugs? Drugs cause the brain to be flooded with the neurotransmitter dopamine. This is a natural chemical that regulates the brain’s reward system. This would include feelings of pleasure, but also includes our emotions, motivations for survival (eating, relationships) and movement. The drugs over stimulate the communications system. When that happens, the brain’s response to the drug is to produce a euphoric feeling. The experience is powerful, as people will get a pleasurable “high” and that is where trouble begins. The user will want to repeat the experience and the brain becomes fooled into thinking that is what is normal.Why is tolerance to the drug dangerous? As the user needs more and more drug to achieve the same pleasurable effect as before, and slips into addiction, the brain is fooled into thinking a certain amount of drug is needed to feel normal. At some point, overdose is possible, if not probable. Let’s say a person goes into treatment and the brain’s natural chemical balance is restored, then he/she uses again at the same level they did before, the results can be overwhelming. Overdose occurs, even though they could tolerate the same amount before.How does the brain get fooled? When a person uses repeatedly, over time the brain will begin to think that the surge in dopamine, caused by the drug, needs to be regulated, so it will produce less dopamine. With less dopamine receptors in the circuit, the reward is lowered. The drug doesn’t work as well, and so the user is compelled to keep abusing drugs to try to gain the same effect. They will use larger amounts of the drug. This tolerance to the drug is dangerous.Why do some people become addicted and others do not? You can’t point to any one thing that determines why someone becomes addicted. A person’s biology may explain why one person gets hooked right away and another can abuse drugs, yet not develop dependence. This genetic component to drug abuse and addiction is strong, because if a person’s parents abuse drugs, they have a higher chance of repeating that family behavior.Environment is important, especially as it relates to the person’s sense of well-being. Drugs are an escape from reality. A person’s psychological makeup is a contributing factor, as self esteem plays a role. Do the drugs make a person feel better about themselves, if only for a short period of time? Does a person suffer from any mental disorder, like depression? Their age is a factor.What chemistry changes in the brain? When people become drug dependent it is because the reward circuits in the brain have been altered. Neurotransmitter glutamate impacts the reward system and the brain’s ability to learn. When glutamate levels are manipulated, the brain wants to make an adjustment and this can effect it’s ability to learn.Cognitive function is lessened by drugs of abuse, which cause a decline in unconscious learning. This unconscious learning, such as the need to eat when we are hungry, is why people have such strong cravings for the drug. These cravings may be triggered by seeing somebody they know, or being in a familiar place. If you see a McDonald’s do you feel hungry? That “craving” is magnified dramatically in a drug-altered brain.Drug addicted people experience diminished ability to learn, make decisions, formulate proper judgments, and have less ability to control their behavior.The earlier a child experiences drugs and alcohol, the more likely they are to develop addiction disease. The child’s brain is still developing and decision making functions of the brain have not reached their full capacity. Teens and young people are especially vulnerable.If I do become addicted, is there hope? Yes. The advance in treatment options has given new hope, new alternatives and new motivation to thousands of addicts. The availability of treatment in this country is ample. People can call a local hospital, treatment center, or their own doctor to get information. Moreover, there are support groups in every community to assist in helping a person through the recovery process.How can people avoid becoming addicted? It’s too easy just to say “Say no,” but the real answer to avoiding addiction is not to use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has done research that shows the value of prevention programs. Education is the key. People, young and old, need to understand that there is risk, danger involved with taking illegal drugs, drinking, or abusing prescription medications. If someone believes a drug is harmful, they are not as likely to take it. People need to understand the risk.Can I be cured of drug addiction? The short answer is no. However, like diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases, drug addiction can be managed.Addiction Statistics: Questions beyond the personalI am only hurting myself, so why are you concerned about my drug habit? In America today, drug abuse costs the taxpayers over $180 billion each year. This includes all of the health care, criminal justice and loss of productivity in the workplace. Another $165 plus billion is spent on tobacco-related disease. More than $185 billion is spent on alcoholism.That is half a trillion dollars!Drug abuse and drug addiction are community diseases, because everybody is impacted, including but not limited to public health programs, failure in schools, crime, violence, child abuse, domestic violence and loss of productivity.
Addiction StatisticsHere are some facts that may surprise or sadden you about Substance Abuse. As with most issues about addiction, there is much that is unexpected; the costs or much higher than expected and the causes are very sad. That fact that child abuse is such a strong predictor of abuse speaks volumes about the problem. See what you think: Addiction Statistics 1:
Substance Abuse and Substance Abuse, according to the National Institute of Health, impacts all Americans, because we all pay the cost for it. Addiction Statistics 2:Statistics show that Substance Abuse and Substance Abuse cost Americans over $484 billion annually. This figure includes health care costs (and abuses of that system), lost job wages, traffic accidents, crime and the associated criminal justice system costs.Addiction Statistics 3:According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10 to 22 percent of car crashes involved drivers who have been using drugs.Addiction Statistics 4:Drug use and addiction is linked to at least half of the major crimes in this country, as at least half of the suspects arrested for violent crimes, such as homicide and assault, were under the influence of drugs when they were arrested.Addiction Statistics 5:Stress is a major factor in drug use and abuse. Substance Abuse Final Fact 6:Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people in Substance Abuse treatment report that they were physically or sexually abused as children. Child abuse is a major contributing factor to Substance Abuse.
More Facts on Substance AbuseHere are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Family Services concerning addiction: — In 2006, an estimated 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.3 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. — In 2006, there were 2.4 million current cocaine users 12 and older, which was the same as in 2005 but greater than in 2002 when the number was 2.0 million. However, the rate of current cocaine use remained stable between 2002 and 2006. — Hallucinogens were used in the past month by 1.0 million persons over the age of 12 in 2006, including 528,000 who had used Ecstasy. These estimates are similar to the corresponding estimates for 2005. — There were 7.0 million persons 12 and older who used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically in the past month. Of these, 5.2 million used pain relievers, an increase from 4.7 million in 2005. — In 2006, there were an estimated 731,000 current users of methamphetamine over the age of 12. — Among teens aged 12 to 17, current illicit drug use rates remained stable from 2005 to 2006. However, youth rates declined significantly between 2002 and 2006 for illicit drugs in general and for several specific drugs, including marijuana, hallucinogens, LSD, Ecstasy, prescription-type drugs used non-medically, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana. — The rate of current marijuana use among youths aged 12 to 17 declined from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006. — Among persons aged 12 or older who used pain relievers non-medically in the past 12 months, 55.7 percent reported that the source of the drug the most recent time they used was from a friend or relative for free. — In 2006, there were 10.2 million persons aged 12 or older who reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year. Addiction Statistics Addiction Statistics
Read these five pages and learn what you need to know to spot Substance Abuse in: Yourself… Your Family… Your Friends… Your Community…The rest of the pages are there for your reference to explain important topics in more detail.