Drug addiction and alcoholism are so common in the United States that most people’s lives have been affected by these afflictions in some way. In fact, drugs and alcohol are fully integrated parts of our society. This is evidenced by their widespread use among all groups and types of people and their inclusion in many private and public settings. And according to a new study by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services of New York, as many as one out of every ten people in the US have previously had a problem with drugs or alcohol that they subsequently quit.
New York State OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez was quoted as stating:
“This research marks a vitally important step for those who are struggling with addiction by offering clear evidence to support what many know experientially — that millions of Americans have found a path to recovery.” (1)
This data raises the possibility that, if based on similar values adjusted over time, ten percent of the current US population could be struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism right now. If true, the implication is that virtually every area of American life is plagued in some way by substance abuse. 2009 data that excludes alcoholism – a chronic American problem – from the Centers for Disease Control seems to confirm this theory:
- Percent of persons 12 years of age and over with any illicit drug use in the past month: 8.7%
- Percent of persons 12 years of age and over with marijuana use in the past month: 6.6%
- Percent of persons 12 years of age and over with any nonmedical use of a psychotherapeutic drug in the past month: 2.8% (2)”
Because drug addiction and alcoholism are so common in the US, it’s no surprise that Americans are accustomed to quitting drugs or drinking, or of others attempting to achieve sobriety. This has led to an entire industry of drug rehab and alcohol treatment centers around the country offering their services to desperate addicts and their families. Unfortunately, not all treatment centers are created equal, and some become nothing more than revolving doors for people who relapse again and again.
As a result, understanding that quitting drugs or drinking is common isn’t enough to effect any tangible change in regard to this issue. Instead, education about the dangerous of addiction must be tempered with widespread distribution of information concerning effective treatments that can help a person get clean and stay clean for life.
If you or someone you love is currently among the 10% in the US affected by addiction or alcoholism, you don’t have to be part of this statistic any longer. By calling the number at the top of your screen right now, you can get a free, confidential consultation that can help unlock the doors to a lifetime of sobriety and productive living. We can help in more ways than you can imagine, but we can’t do anything if you don’t call.
(1) Szalavitz, Maia 10% of the U.S. Population Has Overcome Drugs or Alcohol 03/07/2012
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Illegal Drug Use US Data