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Drug and Alcohol Abuse - Where Do We Start

Updated: May 3, 2019

Awareness and education play a critical role in preventing abuse from the use of mind-altering substances (alcohol and drugs) and are at a crucial point today. We will be looking at some of these issues and shining a light on some high points.

Addiction can be defined as compulsive drug-seeking behavior. It can be recognized as such when the acquisition and use of drugs become the most important activity in the user’s life. In addition to serious medical and social consequences, an addict often experiences a significant loss of control and impaired judgment regarding alcohol and drug use and will continue to use the drug. It can have tremendous negative, and often fatal, effects on the user and the user’s family.

Illicit Drug Use

Illicit drugs would include marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription psychotherapeutics (including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives).

In 2017, 30.5 million Americans 12 or older had used an illicit drug in the last 30 days. That is about 1 in every 9 persons in the age group. (*2017 NSDUH Annual National Report).

Alcohol Use

About 140.6 million in the same age group were current alcohol users of which 66.6 million were binge drinkers in the last 30 days. That represents 1 out of 5 individuals aged 12 to 20-year-olds use of alcohol*.

Mortality Rates

It is estimated that more than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including deaths from illicit drugs and prescription opioids (a 2-fold increase in a decade). Alcohol and alcohol-related deaths accounted additionally for approximately 88,000 users.

In America, that would account for 439 deaths per day attributed to drug and alcohol-related deaths. World War II was an international, deadly-horrible and bloody conflict, and it accounted for about 306 American deaths per day.

Are you getting the picture?

For more information on how you can help or get help, visit:

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