Two Million Adult Americans Addicted To Both Drugs and Alcohol, Says Government Report

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Two Million Adult Americans Addicted To Both Drugs and Alcohol, Says Government Report

According to a new report from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an estimated 2.3 million adult Americans suffered from a past-year and addiction to both drugs and alcohol in 2014.

Also, the report revealed that 4 of 5 American adults with a substance use disorder also had an alcohol use disorder, and nearly 3 out of 10 had an illicit drug use disorder. About 1 in 9 had both an alcohol and illicit drug use disorder.

Data analysis indicated that around 20.2 million adult Americans had a past-year substance use disorder. Among these, 6.2 million had an illicit drug use disorder, and 16.3 million had an alcohol use disorder.

Researchers also stated that most substance use disorders in the United States are related to alcohol consumption, and long-term patterns exhibit a decrease in the prevalence of disorders linked to alcohol use disorders in adults.

Also, an estimated 2.5 million adults age 18 and older received treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use disorder in the past year. That’s about 1% of the entire adult American population, or 7.5% of adults with a substance use disorder who received treatment in the past year:

“Despite the benefits of treatment, research suggests that few Americans receive any or adequate substance use treatment.”

Reasons for this discrepancy in those with addiction and those who actually receive treatment were listed as the following:

“..despite perceiving a need for treatment, [those with substance use disorders] were not ready to stop using alcohol or illicit drugs or…they had no health care coverage and could not afford the cost of treatment.”

“Given that not being ready to stop using alcohol or illicit drugs has been one of the most common reasons for not receiving treatment for several years, this highlights the importance of reducing the prevalence of SUD.”

The report noted that these findings are similar to rates found from 2010-2013, but the figures were still below percentages found from 2002-2009.

The researchers contend that the careful examination of trends in substance use disorders can help health care providers more effectively evaluate plans for substance abuse intervention and treatment.

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


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