New Survey Says Illicit Drug Abuse Rose Between 2008 and 2010

October 24, 2011

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  has released a new survey that shows that the rate of drug abuse of illicit substances has risen between 2008 and 2010. The statistics generated by the national survey show that Americans are using more and more drugs of addiction or abusing prescription drugs non-medically – including teens and seniors. Here are some of the numbers:

  • 22.6 million Americans over the age of 12 (about 9 percent of the population) abused drugs in 2010, up from about 8 percent in 2008.
  • 21.5 percent of American young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 abused drugs in 2010, up from 19.6 percent in 2008.
  • 17.4 million Americans over the age of 12 abused marijuana in 2010 (about 7 percent of the population), up from 14.4 million in 2008 (about 6 percent of the population).
  • Rates of abuse of prescription drugs, inhalants, and hallucinogens stayed about the same from 2009 to 2010.

Pamela S. Hyde is a SAMHSA Administrator. She says: “We stand at a crossroads in our nation’s efforts to prevent substance abuse and addiction. These statistics represent real lives that are at risk from the harmful and sometimes devastating effects of illicit drug use. This nation cannot afford to risk losing more individuals, families and communities to illicit drugs or from other types of substance abuse — instead, we must do everything we can to effectively promote prevention, treatment and recovery programs across our country.”

The how and why of trends related to drug abuse, addiction, and treatment were also highlighted by the new study. Here are a couple of their findings:

  • 55 percent of Americans over the age of 12 who used prescription painkillers non-medically received the pills from a family member or a friend at no cost. Less than 4.5 percent purchased painkillers illegally in order to abuse them and less than .5 percent reported buying their pills online.
  • 23.1 million Americans over the age of 12 (more than 9 percent of the population) needed addiction treatment that was specialized but only 2.6 million got the care that they needed (just over 11 percent).

For more statistics, check out the survey on SAMHSA’s website. For treatment, contact us at Michael’s House today and learn how our addiction treatment programs can help you or someone you care about avoid becoming another drug addiction statistic.

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