Consequences of Substance Abuse in the United States

Consequences of Substance Abuse - Freedom From Addiction

In 2014, the White House Office of Public Affairs released an important fact sheet from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This fact sheet, entitled Consequences of Illicit Drug Use in America, provides the most recent data regarding effects of illicit drug use on varied aspects of society. Those aspects include:

  • Mortality
  • Driving under the influence
  • Use around and by children
  • Damage to academic performance
  • Economic costs
  • Addiction and treatment
  • Acute health consequences
  • Crime
  • Impact on the environment

Deadly Consequences of Substance Abuse

Perhaps the most striking consequences of substance abuse are noted within the statistics concerning mortality, addiction and treatment. In 2010, more than 40,000 people died from drug abuse, over double the number of people dying from the same causes in 1999. That last year of the 20th century, only 19,128 people had died due to substance abuse. These figures are indicative of overdoses and accidental poisonings, not including the thousands who die from accidents, murder, AIDS and other drug-related causes. There is one overdose or drug poisoning death every 13 minutes in the United States. In fact, 9,000 more people die from drugs than firearms each year, as well as over 14,000 more than from alcohol-related causes.

Treatment Can Beat Consequences of Substance Abuse

While figures associated with drug-related deaths are staggering, treatment-associated statistics are also troublesome. In 2012, 23.1 million people needed treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. Only 2.5 million entered a treatment facility. Among those entering treatment, opioids are the biggest problem. Heroin was the issue for one quarter of treatment admissions. Non-prescribed painkillers were the drug of choice for 15% of those admitted. Regardless of the substance abused, whether a drug or alcohol, the consequences of substance abuse far outweigh the perceived inconvenience of entering treatment. Becoming a statistic of drug-induced death is a greater possibility for addicts of today than ever before. Along with increased potential for death, consequences of drug abuse include negative effect on personal education, family life, career, health and the environment. This is not to mention that up to 83% of booked arrestees have drugs or alcohol in their system at the time of arrest. Substance abuse is only a downward spiral. Sadly, only less than 10% of those abusing drugs or alcohol in the US gained treatment in past years. Many of those became statistics of death and other consequences of their habit. Professional addiction treatment is the only sure way to avoid consequences of substance abuse. Freedom From Addiction can help you with this decision. Call us.

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