Drug Abuse Statistics

man sitting against fence wonders about drug abuse statistics

Drug abuse statistics paint a grim picture. While government officials declare a state of emergency over opioid abuse, drug use is up across the board. What do you need to know about substance abuse today? More importantly, what can you do if you or a loved one is currently using?

Commonly Abused Drugs

Alcohol, prescription medications, over the counter drugs, and street drugs make up the majority of substances that people abuse. Both men and women fall victim to addiction. The government tracks drug use involving individuals as young as 12 years of age.

Drug Abuse Statistics Reveal Deadly Facts

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, overdose deaths have grown 2.2-fold over the last few years. The biggest spikes in fatalities happened in 2006, 2011, and 2015. Opioid-related deaths, in particular, are on a steep rise. Many of these fatalities come from unintentional overdoses.

Individuals don’t realize that taking more of the substance than their doctors indicate they should, can result in death. Sometimes these situations occur because users mix alcohol and other depressants with opioids. Since they act on the nervous system in the same way, they amplify each other’s effects. Typically, these overdoses involve the gradual slowing of breathing, which eventually stops and results in death by asphyxiation.

Other figures show that young adults and older teens are among the most likely demographics to use. However, senior citizens, particularly those in their 50s and 60s, also show a rapid increase in drug abuse. Reasons for drug use run the gamut, but once an addiction takes hold, it takes professional assistance to stop. Did you know that of the nearly 23 million people with a drug problem, only about 2.5 million received help? These drug abuse statistics are worrisome, especially since you can’t overcome addiction alone.

How to Get Off Drugs

There’s no magic potion that will stop substance abuse. The disease model of addiction shows that it’s a chronic brain disease. Detox and drug rehab are the only ways to counteract the symptoms of substance abuse. Typical treatments include:

  • Medically supervised detoxification breaks the physiological dependence on one or more drugs
  • Evidence-based therapies provide one-on-one counseling that helps you recognize your reasons for using
  • Family behavior therapy brings in loved ones to work through trigger situations and set the stage for relapse prevention at home
  • Trauma treatment allows you to work through past experiences, which makes closure possible in the here and now
  • Group therapy undoes the self-isolation many people using drugs impose on themselves

The best delivery method for these treatments is a residential stay at a facility. Doing so takes you out of your environment and removes you from trigger situations and negative peer groups. If you’re struggling with a substance abuse problem, or know someone who is, don’t become a statistic. Reach out for help by calling the Silver Pines Treatment Center at 866-345-2147 today.