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6 Drug Abuse Facts and Stats

Last Updated on December 16, 2019 by Inspire Malibu

Drug addiction is a complex illness which is characterized by intense and, in severe cases, uncontrollable drug cravings. Drug users are often engaged in compulsive drug seeking and use persistent methods and illicit activities for instant gratification.

While it often begins with a voluntary act of taking these substances, with time it leads to compromised situations that result in devastating consequences.

Drug Abuse Facts & Stats

This behavior results mainly from the effects of prolonged drug exposure that alter the functioning of the brain. Addiction is a serious disease that affects the various circuits of the brain, including reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control behavior.

Let’s take a look at some drug addiction facts and statistics…

6 Drug Addiction Facts

There are many unknowns surrounding addiction, and each person has their own reasons for why they started using drugs or how they became addicted, and to what drugs or substances. But we do know that once a person becomes addicted, they follow some of the same patterns as others.

  • Drug and substance abuse hijacks the brain
  • Substance abuse disrupts many aspects of an individual’s life
  • Work life and personal relationships are usually the hardest hit
  • Extended use of drugs or alcohol which lead to addiction cause functional and structural changes in the brain
  • Drug abuse creates emotional instability leading to low self-esteem and a greater craving for the drugs
  • Violent behavior, emotional trauma, and criminal acts like stealing become common

6 Positive Drug Addiction Statistics

While the facts surrounding drug addiction are negative, there is some positive hope that in recent years, some statistics have gotten better. Here are a few positive addiction statistics:

  •  It’s estimated that more than 750,000 fewer teenagers used illicit drugs last year than in 2000, resulting in a 17 percent decline
  •  Current methamphetamine use by teens has plummeted 67 percent
  •  Current cocaine use among high school seniors has dropped 48 percent, and crack cocaine use has decreased 40 percent
  •  Steroid use by teens has dropped by 44 percent
  •  Cocaine use among America’s general workforce has declined by about 40 percent between 2008 and 2012
  • Drug use among workers is at it’s lowest level in 25 years. Since 1988 positive drug tests have fallen nearly 75%

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Because drug abuse and addiction brings with it a series of complications in an individual’s life, proper treatment should be considered. Effective treatment programs typically are extensive and incorporate several components, directed to cover all aspects of the illness and the consequences.

An addiction treatment program helps the addict to stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society.

Drug addiction is not a one day or week process. It typically involves a 30, 60 or even 90 day program consisting of professional care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery.


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