Getting The Facts About
Substance Abuse and Treatment
Substance abuse is a major public health problem that
affects millions of people and places enormous finan
cial and social burdens on society. It can destroy
families, cripple the economy, victimize communities
and suffocate the educational, criminal justice, and
social services systems. Below are some important
facts that relate to substance abuse, addiction, treat
ment and recovery.
Drug Abuse Among Targeted Populations:
According to the National Household Survey on Drug
Abuse, 13 million people age 12 or older had used an
illicit drug during the past month. In addition, 11
million Americans reported heavy alcohol use and 32
million people reported “binge” drinking during the
Use of any illicit drug by students who are warned “a
lot” about the dangers of alcohol and drugs by their
parents is lower (26 percent) than among students
who “never” get parental warnings (37 percent) - a 30
percent relative difference.
As in prior years, men continued to have a higher rate
of current illicit drug use than women (8.1 percent vs.
Adult women who were divorced/separated or never
married reported a significantly higher prevalence of
any illicit drug use and problem drug use than adult
women who were married.
Among pregnant women, rates of substance use were
higher among women age 15-25 than among those
Use of Alcohol and Specific Drugs:
In the past school year, one quarter of senior high stu
dents (25 percent) used an illicit drug on a monthly or
more frequent basis.
Twenty-one percent of state inmates incarcerated for
violent crimes were under the influence of alcohol
when they committed their crimes.
Students were twice as likely to smoke marijuana at
home than at school (13.5 % vs. 6.5%), and more
than four times more likely to smoke pot at a friend’s
house than at school (28.5 % vs. 6.5%).
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