Facts about Substance Abuse


Substance abuse is a problem which is costing the United States a lot of financial resources. Regardless of whether individuals are using innocent substances like alcohol and marijuana, or are addicted to street drugs such as heroin and cocaine substance abuse not just affects the individuals but also the nation. The US Department Of Health And Human Services has furnished the following facts about substance abuse to provide information for Americans, who are constantly abusing illegal drugs and alcohol.

  • The use of illicit drugs costs the United States about $181 billion yearly. 
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol also imposes a cost on the nation of approximately $235 million annually. 

Substance abuse does not come with an affordable price tag. Particularly when you consider all the legal, criminal, health and personal issues that are often associated with the habit. The National Institute Of Drug Abuse [NIDA] has confirmed that approximately 24 million Americans over the age of 12 and older had abused an illicit drug. The drug which is highly favored and abused by greater than 20 million Americans is marijuana within the past 30 days, and according to the study conducted by the National Survey On Drug Use and Health [NSDUH] with more than 8 million Americans confirming they were using marijuana daily.

We must move in our recovery from one addiction to another for two major reasons: first, we have not recognized and treated the underlying addictive process, and second, we have not accurately isolated and focused upon the specific addictions.

-Anne Wilson Schaef

Facts About Substance Abuse Also Consider Prescription-Drug Abuse

Drugs, which are illegally available on the streets and include varieties like heroin and crystal meth are considered as dangerous while prescription drugs are often viewed favorably because they have been prescribed by a doctor. People have the misconception these drugs are safer without realizing they can be as addictive as heroin.

Presently, the abuse of prescription drugs has exceeded the use of illicit drugs and is demonstrating this could be a bigger problem than was originally believed. Opiate painkillers such as morphine, OxyContin, and Vicodin contributed to almost 60% of the deaths related to drugging overdose.

The Short-Term And Long-Term Effects Of Substance Abuse

Substances which are abused to begin working by stimulating different parts of the human body, including the receptors within the brain. The number of drugs which can produce various types of short-term effects are numerous. These include problems like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dizziness, tremors, mood changes and paranoia. When ingested in elevated doses people who are abusing the drug expose themselves to the dangerous effects. And there is potential for causing heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure.

The long-term effects of substance abuse have the potential to lead to mental and physical effects, which will need adequate treatment to resolve and the effects would include:

  • Paranoia. 
  • Psychosis. 
  • Immune deficiencies. 
  • Organ damage. 

Substance Abuse Can Lead To Dependence On The Drug

People, who are regularly abusing substances will develop dependence. The addictive properties of the drug will quickly move from the perception of fun which they earlier had and find themselves with a constant need to remain high. The compulsion is often uncontrollable and will interfere with the individual’s personal life.

Substance abuse is also accompanied by several side effects, which could range from being mild physical side effects like nausea and dehydration to work-related consequences. It poses the greatest risk of making the individual dependent on the substance. What begins as an occasional snort of cocaine has the potential to spiral into dependence and eventually a full-blown addiction. Comprehensive treatment will become essential when the addiction has taken hold of the individual. The constant need for a particular substance frequently overcomes the rational thinking of the individual who begins to develop problems with family members, friends, and coworkers. According to NIDA, addiction is a persisting disease which requires ongoing management. Individuals most often never overcome their addiction but instead learn to manage their addiction appropriately to ensure they can lead healthy and balanced lives.

It is time to end the discrimination against people who need treatment for chemical addiction. It is time for Congress to deal with our Nation’s number one public health problem.

-Jim Ramstad

The facts about substance abuse which have been mentioned are unlikely to make the millions of Americans who are indulging in such habits think differently and begin making attempts to lead healthy lives. However, many may be inspired by the facts which have been provided and decide they should be making certain changes to their lives. The costs borne by the nation will ultimately be demanded from the general public in the form of taxes, which could even affect substance abusers. We are looking forward to publishing the facts of substance abuse with the sole objective of making Americans understand the kind of expenditure they are forcing on the government. Individuals could be spending hundreds or even thousands on the addiction they have developed. But, the wastage of billions by the government could perhaps make them realize it would be a better option for them to begin leading healthy lives without getting into substance abuse of any kind.




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