The United States has been one of the major havens for drug abuse around the world for many decades. A majority of the illegal drug trade ends in drug consumption within the borders of the United States. Because this is a multibillion dollar industry, the transport and manufacture of drugs likely won’t end anytime soon. It’s your responsibility to help your family avoid the pitfalls of drug abuse; you must also have the balance to avoid those pitfalls yourself.
However, illegal substances aren’t the only danger to avoid when it comes to drugs. Prescription drugs also are highly abused, meaning that you must be especially careful when you deal with prescribed medications as well.
Looking at drug abuse statistics in the United States can be depressing; however, the problem must be understood in order to be addressed. Below are some of the statistics and relevant information regarding drug abuse that should concern you, especially if you’re responsible for a younger person.
The Current State of Drug Abuse in the United States
According to recent drug abuse statistics from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the overall abuse of drugs has decreased in the United States in recent years. However, these reports concede that the statistics may not be accurate because of the increasingly clandestine ways in which the Internet allows people to obtain drugs without being detected, especially high school aged children.
These government reports name prescription drug abuse as the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have actually classified prescription drug abuse as a full-blown epidemic.
The current administration is putting a great deal of money into pension; however, there’s also a great deal of money being put into punishment as well. New jails are being built across the nation with the stated intent of housing nonviolent drug offenders. Some people believe the legalization of marijuana may have something to do with the decreasing amount of jail space in which the prison industry must house these individuals.
Many drug experts believe the classification of marijuana as a legal substance will allow drug statistics to focus on the more serious effects of more dangerous substances. As it stands now, marijuana statistics are often segmented from other drugs statistics, mostly because the illegal use of marijuana is caught at a much higher rate than the illegal use of prescription drugs like Ritalin or even legal substances such as alcohol.
Drug Abuse Statistics and Facts Everyone Should Know
-Prescription drug use is second only to marijuana as the number one drug of choice for children ages 12 to 17. The overwhelming majority of these children obtain their prescription drugs from their parents or another person in the home.
-Sixty-two percent of children aged 12 to 17 have tried some type of drug for a social purpose at least once in their lifetime. This amounts to around 7 million children in the United States.
-A full 8 percent of the population older than age 12 uses illegal drugs at least once a month. The total number comes to around 19.9 million Americans. This statistic comes from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
-Even with a rising number of illegal drugs becoming present in American society, alcohol remains the number one most commonly used and abused drug in the United States. Although many experts believe this is only because of the frequency with which alcohol-related incidents are documented, most if not all agree alcohol is a huge problem that needs to be addressed alongside illegal and prescription drug use in America.
-Alcohol-related vehicular accidents are the second leading cause of death in driving-aged teenagers in the United States. Around 1,900 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents annually. Approximately 600,000 college students have unintentional injuries related to the influence of alcohol every year. Alcohol is also a leading cause in cases of date rape, according to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence fact sheet.
-Of the world population, 3.9 percent of individuals between the ages of 15 and 64 abuse marijuana. Marijuana is still the number one abused illegal drug in the United States, even with many municipalities declaring the drug legal.
-Children are being exposed to drugs at earlier ages than ever before. Forty-five percent of all high school students in the United States have had at least one drink of alcohol by the time they finish high school. Almost 20 percent will have smoked marijuana before they finish high school as well. Of the individuals who drink and smoke, the overwhelming majority of them will do so at least once on a monthly basis.
-Cocaine use in the United States is rising alongside cocaine use in Europe.
-Marijuana has been linked to lower grades in students, with just over 19 percent of those aged 12 to 17 with an academic “D” average having smoked marijuana in the past month.
-In cases of teenage suicide in the United States, the overwhelming majority of them included some sort of drug or alcohol.
-Alcohol and drugs are the leading cause of crime committed by young people in the United States between the ages of 12 and 17.
Help for Drug Abuse
If any of the above statistics describe you or a loved one, your entire family may be in need of professional drug rehabilitation assistance. Please call the helpline at 800-447-9081 to begin a program of detoxification and rehabilitation that’ll help balance your entire family and eliminate the use of legal and illegal drugs.
Drug abuse affects much more than the person taking the drugs. Entire families, social circles and communities can be put at risk. You owe it to yourself to get professional help for anyone whom you see is having trouble with drug abuse.