Substance Addiction Facts

Substance Addiction Facts

Substance addiction facts 1:

Drug abuse and drug addiction, according to the National Institute of Health, impacts all Americans, because we all pay the cost for it.

Substance addiction facts 2:

Statistics show that drug abuse and drug addiction 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.

Substance addiction facts 3:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10 to 22 percent of car crashes involved drivers who have been using drugs.

Substance addiction facts 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.

Substance addiction facts 5:

Stress is a major factor in drug use and abuse.

Drug Addiction Final Fact 6:

Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people in drug abuse treatment report that they were physically or sexually abused as children. Child abuse is a major contributing factor to drug addiction.


More Facts on Drug Addiction

Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Family Services concerning drug abuse and 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 aged 12 or 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 aged 12 or older 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 aged 12 or 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 aged 12 or older.

-- Among youths 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.


More Drug Abuse Facts

For more information on drug addiction please go to:

Substance addiction facts at http://www.nida.nih.gov


Alcoholic mom has breast cancer.


My mom is currently in a 13 month long rehab program to treat her alcoholism. She was just diagnosed with stage IIIA breast cancer a few weeks ago.

She undergoes her first round of chemo tomorrow. My fear is that she will abuse the prescription painkillers they will give her for pain after the chemo. She was also diagnosed with the beginning stages of cirrhosis of the liver before entering rehab.

Will the chemo further damage her liver?

I'm so worried that she won't stay sober during this very difficult time. Cancer is hard enough, but dealing with it while recovering from addiction I fear will be too much for her.


Chemo may not be affected by alcohol
by: Ned Wicker

Alcohol use does not necessarily interfere with chemo, but in the case of an alcoholic it interferes with everything and complicates treatment.

Your mother’s oncologist needs to know this information, so call him and make sure he has a complete medical picture. I am hoping the cirrhosis diagnosis is part of her oncology file. The cancer staff will know what to do. Surprisingly, however, many people hide medical conditions, even from doctors.

Several years ago I served as chaplain to a medical/respiratory intensive care unit at a large urban hospital. I was shocked to learn that alcohol played a part in 75% of the cases on that unit, and so often the staff had to deal with the alcohol before they could administer treatment for other medical conditions. That’s what I mean about complications.

Because of her substance use disorder, the doctors need to be careful about her pain management, as an alcoholic is already in serious jeopardy of developing a problem with the pain meds. When there are issues relating to pain management, people are often encouraged to learn about alternative treatments.

For example, I have a friend who is living with cancer and has for the last 11 years. He has a prescription for an opiate, but has been practicing meditation. Some mornings he does not take the pain medication because his meditation has been effective. Other mornings, he takes his meds as prescribed.

Research, according to Dr. Calton Erickson of the University of Texas, has shown that medication can have the same affect on the brain as an opiate. This is an interesting development.

The important thing is to have that open and honest relationship with the medical team, so there is an understanding that the alcoholism is a factor.

I pray that your mom can handle her treatment and not relapse. My friend also shared with me something rather profound. He said, “I can chose how to feel about HOW I feel.”


and Finally Remember:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8


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