Substance Abuse Statistics: Startling News?

substance abuse statisticsSadly, studies show that the illegal use of drugs has continued to rise in the United States. Just last year, substance abuse statistics from a study conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicated that approximately 22.2 million Americans 12 years and older had taken an illegal drug or abused prescribed medication, such as a pain reliever, tranquilizer or stimulant, in the previous month. That’s a whopping 8.7% of the population and a significant jump compared to the 8.3% in 2002.

How does drug abuse start and what do substance abuse statistics in America reveal about the age groups affected most?

Substance Abuse Statistics: What Age Group has the Highest Drug Use?

  • From a study conducted in 2011 by NIDA, 23.8% of 18-20 year old were found to be using various kinds of prohibited substances.
  • This is followed by the 21-25 age group, with 19.9% of them being drug users.

With such startling substance abuse statistics, it is clear that if the government wants these rates to be reduced, people in these young age groups should be made more aware of the devastating or even fatal effects of illicit drug use. Substance abuse not only adversely affects the individual using drugs, but also the people he or she is connected to, and in effect, the whole of society.

Teens and Substance Abuse Statistics

substance abuse statisticsIt seems that the key to decreasing substance abuse amongst youngsters is to keep them informed. NIDA 2011 substance abuse statistics indicate that most individuals start using drugs for the very first time during their teenage years. In 2011, there were a little over 3 million new drug users or 8,400 new users each day.

About half of those new drug users, 51% to be exact, were below the age of 18. They’re not even of legal age in most states! Prevention is well served by helping teens through education and drug awareness programs. All is not lost once illegal substance use and abuse has taken hold, there are expert rehabilitation programs available with high success and recovery rates.

What Substance Abuse Statistics Say about Starting

NIDA 2011 substance abuse statistics also show that 67.5% of illegal drug users start with marijuana. Others include pain relievers at 14% and inhalants at 7.5%. In addition, the institute’s studies show that marijuana seem to be the drug of choice, because in the past ten years, the use of drugs like hallucinogens and cocaine have remained the same at about 0.5% of the population, while the use of marijuana has increased from 6.2% of the population in 2002 to 7% of the population nine years later.

NIDA substance abuse statistics from 2011 also reveal that among Americans, about 21.6 million or 8.7% needed to seek treatment for their substance abuse problems. However, only 2.3 million individuals or less than 1% actually received treatment. Substance abuse is something that the nation should take seriously, especially since so many lives are tragically affected

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