Nearly Half Of All Americans Has Loved One Addicted To Drugs, Survey Finds

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Nearly Half Of All Americans Has Loved One Addicted To Drugs, Survey Finds

According to a recent survey from Pew Research Center, 46% of adult Americans state they have a close friend or family member who is addicted to drugs currently or is in recovery. Men and women state this figure equally, as do those who tend toward either major political party.

Also, there is little differernce between whites (46%) and Hispanics (50%) or blacks (52%). Findings are culled from federal government data.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), About 7.5 million American age 12 or older (2.7%) in 2016 reported past-year behavior that was consistent with an illicit drug use disorder. Such criteria include failure to cut down on drug use, and continuing their habit despite “health or emotional problems” associated with drug use.

Drug included in the survey are cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, methamphetamine, and prescription drug. Of little surprise, the most common drug use disorders were associated with marijuana (4 million) and prescription painkillers (1.8 million.)

Although a small share of American report suffering from an illicit drug use disorder, the rate of drug overdose fatalities has increased dramatically in the last decade, thanks to the opioid epidemic that is now killing tens of thousands of Americans each year.

The latest preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 64,000 Americans (a record) died in 2016 from an accidental overdose of drugs or alcohol. That’s up from 52,404 in 2015. That number was under 17,000 in 1999.

From 1999-2015, the age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths increased from just over 6 fatalities per 100,000 to more than 16. Death rates have increased across age, gender, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. Urban areas have been affected, but the greatest increases have occurred in rural regions.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology


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