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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Statistics

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Alcohol is the oldest drug around. It is also the most widely-used and almost 50 percent of people aged 12 and over have consumed alcohol in the United States. Most people are able to consume alcohol responsibly. However, for one reason or another, some people abuse alcohol and develop addictions. Drug information from the American Council for Drug Education (ACDE)states that approximately 10 to 15 million people in the United States can be classified as alcoholics. About 4.5 million of those people are adolescents. Alcohol dependence will affect 17 percent of men and 8 percent of women at some point in their lives. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 79,000 deaths per year are the direct result of excessive alcohol consumption.

It is the third leading cause of death (life-style related) in the nation and the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24. In 2005, excessive alcohol caused 4 million emergency room visits and 1.6 million hospitalizations. About 2,000 people under the legal drinking age (21) die annually in car crashes due to alcohol and it is involved in nearly 50 percent of all teen deaths involving violence. Drug abuse is also a major concern for the country. According to the latest drug information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug abuse costs the United States over $600 billion annually in health care treatments, lost productivity, and crime. This breaks down to $181 billion for illicit drugs and $235 billion for alcohol. In 2009 alone, over 2.1 million visits to the emergency department were related to drug abuse, as follows: * Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs (27 percent)

* Illicit drug use (21 percent)
* Combination of alcohol with drugs (14 percent)
* Eighty percent of patients were 21 or older
* Over 420,000 of the visits were related to cocaine use
* The most common drug combination was alcohol and central nervous system depressants (over 519,000) However, the cost to the individual is often immeasurable because drug and alcohol abuse can lead to lost relationships, child and spousal abuse, and unemployment.

Adolescent Substance Abuse
Being a teenager and raising a teenager are individually, and collectively, enormous challenges. For many teens, illicit substance use and abuse become part of the landscape of their teenage years. Although most adolescents who use drugs do not progress to become drug abusers, or drug addicts in adulthood, drug use in adolescence is a very risky proposition. Even small degrees of substance abuse (for example, alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants) can have negative consequences. Typically, school and relationships, notably family relationships, are among the life areas that are most influenced by drug use and abuse. One of the most telling signs of a teen’s increasing involvement with drugs is when drug use becomes part of the teen’s daily life. Preoccupation with drugs can crowd out previously important activities, and the manner in which the teen views him or her self may change in unrealistic and inaccurate directions. Friendship groups may change, sometimes dramatically, and relationships with family members can become more distant or conflictual. Further bad signs include more frequent use or use of greater amounts of a certain drug, or use of more dangerous drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines, or heroin. Persistent patterns of drug use in adolescence are a sign that problems in that teen’s environment exist and need to be addressed immediately. What causes adolescent substance abuse?

There is no single cause of adolescent drug problems. Drug abuse develops over time; it does not start as full-blown abuse or addiction. There are different pathways or routes to the development of a teen’s drug problems. Some of the factors that may place teens at risk for developing drug problems include: * insufficient parental supervision and monitoring

* lack of communication and interaction between parents and kids * poorly defined and poorly communicated rules and expectations against drug use * inconsistent and excessively severe discipline

* family conflict
* favorable parental attitudes toward adolescent alcohol and drug use, and parental alcoholism or drug use It is important to also pay attention to individual risk factors. These include: * high sensation seeking

* impulsiveness
* psychological distress
* difficulty maintaining emotional stability
* perceptions of extensive use by peers
* perceived low harmfulness to use
How do you know when to seek help?
The earlier one seeks help for their teen’s behavioral or drug problems, the better. How is a parent to know if their teen is experimenting with or moving more deeply into the drug culture? Above all, a parent must be a good and careful observer, particularly of the little details that make up a teen’s life. Overall signs of dramatic change in appearance, friends, or physical health may be signs of trouble. If a parent believes his or her child may be drinking or using drugs, here are some things to watch for: * Physical evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia

* Behavior problems and poor grades in school
* Emotional distancing, isolation, depression, or fatigue * Change in friendships or extreme influence by peers
* Hostility, irritability, or change in level of cooperation around the house * Lying or increased evasiveness about after school or weekend whereabouts * Decrease in interest in personal appearance

* Physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, runny nose, frequent sore throats, rapid weight loss
* Changes in mood, eating, or sleeping patterns
* Dizziness and memory problems

Teen Substance Abuse and Treatment
Being a teenager is often a confusing, challenging time, which can make teens vulnerable to falling into a destructive pattern of drug use. While most teens probably see their drug use as a casual way to have fun, there are negative effects that are a result of this use of alcohol or other drugs. Even if adolescent drug use does not necessarily lead to adult drug abuse, there are still risks and consequences of adolescent drug use. These negative effects usually include a drop in academic performance or interest, and strained relationships with family or friends. Adolescent substance abuse can greatly alter behavior, and a new preoccupation with drugs can crowd out activities that were previously important. Drug use can also change friendships as teens begin to associate more with fellow drug users, who encourage and support one another’s drug use. For adolescents, these changes as a result of substance abuse signal a problem in the teen’s environment, and should be seen as a call to action for parents, teachers, or friends to seek help for their loved one. Seeking Help

The sooner you can recognize that your teen is abusing alcohol or other drugs, the sooner you can seek help. Make sure to keep track of your teen, their friends, and where they are going. While your teen will probably call you a nag or become annoyed with the constant questions, it is more important to make sure that you know what is going on in your child’s life, so that if a problem does arise you can take rapid action. There are some things to look for in your adolescent’s behavior that may be indications of drug use, which include changes in appearances, friends, behavior, and interests. Indications of substance abuse may include: * physical evidence of drugs or drug paraphernalia

* behavior problems and a drop in academic performance
* emotional distancing, depression, or fatigue
* changes in mood, eating patterns, or sleeping patterns
* change in friendships
* increased hostility or irritability
* decrease in interest in personal appearance
* lying or increased evasiveness about school or weekend activities If your teen exhibits these behaviors, they may have a problem with substance abuse, and the sooner you seek help for them, the better. Treatment

Once teens start using drugs, they are not usually motivated to stop. For many teens, drugs are a pleasurable way to relax and fit in. For teens, drugs also don’t represent a serious threat because teens typically have the mentality that they are invincible. Because of this, it is important that parents and friends are involved in encouraging adolescents to enter treatment in order to help them achieve a drug free lifestyle. Without this support, it is unlikely that teens will seek help for their drug problem. There is a variety of treatment programs for adolescent substance abuse, and when seeking help for a loved one, it is important that the treatment program that you choose suits their individual needs. Treatment for adolescent substance abuse usually includes:

* Detoxification: Detoxification is for adolescents who need safe, medically supervised relief from withdrawal symptoms when they first enter a rehabilitation program. * Residential Rehabilitation: Residential rehabilitation is for teens who cannot stop using drugs without 24 hour supervision. Teens in residential rehab are individuals who have continued to use despite knowledge of the risks and consequences, or have continued to use despite previous attempts to stop. In a residential rehab program, these teens can learn and practice new skills that will help them in recovery.

Residential programs may include individual and group therapy, 12-step programs, and relapse prevention. * Intensive Outpatient Program: Intensive outpatient programs are for teens who have committed to staying drug free, but need treatment after school to prevent use and promote recovery. These programs can also include adolescents who have already completed residential treatment, but feel that they need further support in the transition back into daily life. These programs usually rely on support from friends and family. * Aftercare/continuing care: These programs are a very important part of recovery, and help adolescents to maintain a drug free lifestyle. These programs usually include family support groups, or alumni support groups of people who have also completed a treatment program to provide support for the adolescent in recovery. These treatment programs are designed to teach teens the skills that will help them to maintain their recovery and to sustain a drug-free lifestyle. What is Drug Abuse? Drug Abuse Information

Written by Natasha Tracy
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“What is drug abuse?” is an important question for any loved one of a person with a possible substance use problem. Drug abuse information clearly states drug abuse is an extreme desire to obtain, and use, increasing amounts of one or more substances. Drug abuse is a generic term for the abuse of any drug, including alcohol and cigarettes. When considering, “what is drug abuse?” one should remember drug abuse is not the same thing as drug dependence ordrug addiction. Drug dependence or addiction indicates a psychological or physical dependence on the drug to function. Drug dependence requires the symptoms of withdrawal if the drug is discontinued, whereas drug abuse does not.1 Drug Abuse Info – Who Falls Victim to Drug Abuse?

Anyone can become a drug abuser. Drug abuse information indicates that all ethnicities, ages, social groups and genders can have drug abuse problems. Drug abuse is not a character flaw but rather a medical condition that has developed over time. While no one knows why one person becomes a drug abuser while another doesn’t, drug abuse does tend to run in families. (read about the causes of drug abuse) The National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates the following risk factors for developing drug abuse problems (typically seen in adolescence):2 * Unstable home environment, often due to drug abuse or mental illness of the parent * Poor relationship with parents

* Inadequate supervision over adolescent’s activities
* Use of drugs by friends / peers
* Permissive attitude towards their own drug use and the drug use of the adolescent * Behavioral problems combined with poor parenting
* Poor achievement in school
* Apparent ambivalence or approval of drug use in the school, peer group or community * Availability of drugs in the community, peer group or home What Drugs Are Abused?

Drug abuse can be abuse of any chemical substance including cigarettes, inhalants, alcohol and others. Drug abuse information shows both legal and illegal drugs can lead to drug abuse. In short, any drug that can be used can also be a drug of abuse. Categories of drugs commonly seen in drug abuse cases include: * Legal, over-the-counter – Includes drugs like alcohol and cigarettes * Legal, prescription – includes drugs like methadone, oxycodone and Zolpidem * Chemical – includes drugs like inhalants

* Illegal – includes drugs like marijuana, opiates (like heroin), stimulants (likemethamphetamines and cocaine) and hallucinogenics (like acid)

Teen Drug Abuse Statistics
Written by Natasha Tracy
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Teenage drug abuse statistics and teen drug abuse facts have been tracked for more than 35 years. Multiple agencies are involved in collecting teen drug abuse statistics, but the primary source of teenage drug abuse statistics is provided by the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, annually conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In the 2010 MTF survey, 46,348 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade participated across 386 private and public schools.1 Top concerns seen in the teen drug abuse statistics collected in the 2010 MTF survey include:2 * Teen drug abuse statistics show daily marijuana use among 12th-graders is at its highest point since the early 1980s * Perceived risk of marijuana decreased in all ages

* Teenage drug abuse facts indicate abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medication remains high Teenage Drug Abuse Statistics – Positive Trends Seen in Teen Drug Abuse Facts Many of the teen drug abuse facts come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A piece of good news seen in the NSDUH is overall prevalence of underage (ages 12-20) alcohol use and binge drinking has shown a gradual decline across all periods.3 Other positive teen drug abuse facts include: * Teen smoking rates are also at their lowest point in the history of the MTF * Amphetamine use continues to decline, down to 2.2% reporting use * Crack cocaine and cocaine use continues to decline

Teenage Drug Abuse Statistics – Negatives Seen in Teen Drug Abuse Facts Not all teen drug abuse facts indicate a positive trend, however. Some of the negatives seen in teen drug abuse facts are thought to be due to the changing perceptions of some drugs. Drug abuse facts indicate fewer teens consider marijuana and ecstasy to be dangerous, while more teens see cigarettes as dangerous. Additional teen drug abuse statistics and facts include:

* 12th-graders report 17% have smoked a hookah and 23% have smoked small cigars * Ecstasy use increased dramatically between 2009 and 2010 with 50% – 95% increase in use by 8th and 10th-graders * One-in-five 12th-graders report using marijuana in the last 30 days * Behind marijuana, Vicodin, amphetamines, cough medicine, Adderall and tranquilizers are the most likely drugs to be abused * Inhalant abuse is increasing

* Alcohol kills 6.5 times more teenagers than all illicit drugs combined4 * Underage drinking costs the US more than $58 billion each year * Of those entering a drug abuse treatment program in 2008, 11.6% of them were between 12 – 19.5

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