Nearly Half of Americans Know a Person Dependent On Drugs, Survey Finds
“With approximately 50 percent of the USA population on prescription drugs and 10 percent on antidepressants, it is clear that things are going seriously wrong with human health in the modern world,” notes engineer-turned-author Steven Magee, who has written several books on the related subjects, including Health Forensics.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the federal government have taken several steps to address the damage done by the ongoing opioid epidemic that took over 33,000 lives in the United States in 2015. As drug overdose deaths continued with an upward trend during the year, more than half a million individuals perished to drug overdose between 2000 and 2015.
According to a recent study, lawmakers in the U.S. states enacted 81 laws that regulated the dispensation of controlled substances by doctors, pharmacists and patients between 2006 and 2012. The majority of these statutes aimed to prevent patients from doctor shopping and mandate doctors to use tamper-resistant prescription pads to prevent fraud. However, the implementation of controlled substance laws was not associated to the hazardous use of opioids.
In addition, various state-level monitoring programs were also set up to provide data on the controlled substances dispensed in the state to identify individuals at risk of developing the problem of substance abuse and raise a red flag on illegal prescriptions. However, the study concluded that the adoption of controlled substance laws neither reduced the potential risk involved due to the use of opioids nor decreased overdose rates.
Although with the good intention to fight the menace of substance abuse law enforcement agencies, media and other institutions are driving the war against drugs, the ubiquitousness of addiction continues to spread across all social stratas. However, almost half of Americans were found to know someone with the problem of drug dependence, according to a survey as below.
Easy availability of medications and drug abuse
A 2016 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation aimed to take a closer look at the outlooks on the health problems in the U.S., especially issues related to access to substance abuse treatment and mental health services.
Approximately 44 percent reported that they know of someone who has an addiction to painkillers, including 26 percent knowing an acquaintance, 21 percent reporting a close friend and 20 percent confirming a family member. In the 2017 survey, 56 percent of the respondents reported that they or someone in their household considered to have a pre-existing condition.
According to 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 75 percent of all opioid misuse began when people used medication that was not prescribed to them. It also stated that 90 percent of all addictions, regardless of the drug, started during the adolescence and young adulthood. In addition, 80 percent of heroin users reported that they started abusing substances with prescription medications, suggesting that the drug addiction in the U.S. is driven by the access to both prescribed and illicit drugs.
Abusing drugs is dangerous
Even though prescription drugs are advised by a doctor, they are by no means safer than drugs procured from the streets. The prevalence of drug abuse in the U.S. is one of the major public health concerns that cannot be solved by punitive actions alone, particularly due to the mushrooming of drug dealers and increased tendency among the users to indulge in doctor shopping.
Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who wishes to quit the abuse of harmful substances regardless of the adverse impact on their lives. If you or your loved one is grappling with the problem of substance abuse, it is important to seek professional assistance to avoid the aggravation of the related symptoms.
Our customized drug treatment programs are tailored according to individual needs in order to provide holistic care. Get in touch with Sovereign Health of San Clemente through our helpline number 866–629–0442 to know about the comprehensive and evidence-based intervention plans at our addiction treatment centers in California and other parts of the U.S.