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State Drug Treatment & Addiction Information

The Drug Problem in the United States

Addiction Has Become A Nationwide Epidemic

About 22.6 million people aged 12 and older in the United States use illicit drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This accounts for about 8.9 percent of the population. Illicit substances include marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants as well as prescription psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically. Marijuana is the most common narcotic people use, followed by pain relievers and then cocaine. While the amounts of marijuana and cocaine use have remained somewhat consistent over the course of the last few years, the use of pain relievers for non-medical use continues to rise at alarming rates.

It is important to take note of any first-time use because this is often an indicator of an emerging tendency to abuse a substance. Statistically, the first illicit narcotic that people tend to use is overwhelmingly marijuana at about 62 percent. About 25 percent of people begin using drugs by taking prescription psychotherapeutics mostly in the form of pain relievers; with others including tranquilizers, stimulants (this includes methamphetamines) and sedatives. About 9 percent of people begin drug use with inhalants, and only 3 percent begin with hallucinogens.

About half of all children in the United States ages 12 to 17 say that it would be easy for them to get ahold of marijuana if they wanted to. About 20 percent say they could easily get cocaine, 13 percent say they could easily get LSD, and almost 12 percent say they could easily get heroin. These numbers increase with age; as the older youths report finding it easier to obtain these substances. Illicit drug use among this age group often leads to more incidents of fighting at school and dropping out, as well as other delinquent behavior such as stealing and other serious crimes.

Alcoholism in the United States

A little more than half the people in the United States aged 12 and older drink alcohol, which accounts for approximately 131 million people. About 25 percent of people binge drink, which means they have five or more drinks on one occasion, and of those, about 6.7 percent are heavy drinkers which is defined as having five or more drinks in five or more days out of the month.

The figures for binge and heavy drinkers are highest among the young adult category, ages 18 to 25. Forty percent of this group binge drink, and almost 14 percent drink heavily. About 8 percent of youths between the ages of 12 to 17 also binge drink, and shockingly almost 2 percent are considered by definition heavy drinkers.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, children who live with a parent who is a heavy drinker are four times more likely to indulge in drinking than children who do not live with a parent or parents who abuse alcohol. These children are also at a greater risk for having problems with cognitive and verbal skills, anxiety, depression and parental neglect or abuse. Statistics have shown children who begin drinking at age 14 or younger are more than five times more likely to abuse alcohol as are people who do not drink until age 21.

Getting Substance Abuse Treatment

Finding Successful Recovery

Therapy for drug and alcohol addiction is available across the United States in more than 13,000 treatment facilities according to the National Institutes of Health. Because abuse is a national public health problem, assistance is often funded by local, state and federal governments. When people are addicted, every aspect of their life can be affected including their family, work, school and community involvement.

People can tell whether they have a problem with a dependency when their attempts to cut down are unsuccessful, develop a tolerance where more is needed to produce any effect, or have withdrawal symptoms. Other signs to look for include is it replacing other activities, a lot of time being spent on activities that relate to the addiction and the substance being used in increasingly greater quantities.

In 2010, 23 million people needed help for drug or alcohol addiction, but only 2.6 million people received treatment from a hospital or from either an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation facility. Of the approximately 20 million people who did not receive any treatment for their habit, 95 percent did not feel they needed help, 3.3 percent felt they did need help but made no effort to get it, and 1.7 percent made an effort but ultimately did not receive help.

For people with a problem who believe they need help, the No. 1 reason they do not get any was because of financial reasons. But this does not need to be a deterrent. Besides using their own savings to pay for treatment, people also use their private health insurance, borrow money from family members or friends, use Medicare or Medicaid, or obtain some other type of public assistance. Also, many rehabilitation facilities offer payment options to make recovery as affordable as possible.

Understand that there is always a recovery option available.
Call 1-800-844-9706 to speak with an addiction counselor to locate the best drug rehab program for your individual needs.

Types of Treatment Methods

12-Step Programs – Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are both 12-step programs that use suggested steps designed to guide people with a problem toward happy drug-free lives. People attend meetings and talk about their experiences - both good and bad. Few statistics support any sizable success with 12-step programs. In fact, some recent studies suggest that 12-step programs are about as effective as a spontaneous rate of recovery.

Non 12-Step Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy for dependency and abuse works to modify the learned behavior of self-medicating. This therapy's aim is to help the individual identify the needs that the destructive behavior satisfies and to teach skills that provide alternate healthy ways of meeting those needs.

Dual Diagnosis – When a person has two separate but interrelated diagnoses, one treatment approach would be to apply a dual diagnosis method, which treats the substance abuse problem along with the accompanying psychiatric diagnosis. There is much controversy surrounding this approach as many believe this wrongly applies incorrect focus to the root condition. A variety of problems are associated with any form of substance abuse - including psychological manifestations; and that by fully curing the addiction, normally any associated mental condition normalizes.

Holistic Treatment – The holistic approach focuses on relapse prevention by introducing healing strategies that reduce stress, anxiety and depression and that improve overall physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Some examples of holistic approaches could include such therapeutic methods as acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, exercise, hypnosis and herbal therapy.

Drug Replacement Therapy – People addicted to heroin or other opiates are often treated with powerful replacement narcotics because opiates cause significant chemical changes in the brain, and it is thought that these medications are able to control the strong craving. Though this therapy is not very effective, and the medications used are extremely addictive and are often abused themselves, it is a common method applied due to the ease of administering a pill. However this is merely swapping one addiction for another and has minimal long-term effectiveness.

Find the best non 12 step drug rehab for your specific needs.
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