The number of myths and misconceptions about drug abuse and addiction are staggering. Despite efforts to educate and inform, many still cater to rumor and believe “old wives tales” in an effort to gain understanding on the topic. In this entry, we seek to denounce the rumor mill in hopes of providing some much-needed clarity on the topic at large. Here are 10 facts about drug abuse.
10 Drug Abuse Facts
1 – Drug addiction and abuse takes its toll on all Americans – Regardless of whether you struggle with addiction in a personal manner, the emotional and financial impact effect stems throughout every town, community, and state.
2 – Drug addiction and abuse costs the American taxpayers an average of $484 billion each year. This number includes lost job wages, healthcare costs, crime, traffic accidents and associated costs of the criminal justice system.
3 – Drug addiction and abuse can be linked to at least ½ of all major crimes committed in the United States, as roughly half of those taken into custody for violent offenses, such as assault or homicide, were under the influence at the time of arrest.
4 – Nearly 2/3 of those found in addiction recovery centers report sexual or physical abuse as children. Studies show child abuse to be a major factor in later life drug addiction.
6 – Many drugs are addictive due to the chemical changes they impose on the brain. Brain chemistry affects how people act, feel and experience life in a general manner. By changing the equation, these substances can cause permanent harm and even psychosis.
7 – Any IV drug use increases the risk of HIV exponentially.
8 – Inhalants encompass an array of office and household products. Users will inhale the fumes emitted by these products to obtain a high. Common inhalants include paints, glues, gas and other chemicals. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the largest at-risk group for inhalant use are adolescents ages 12 – 15.
9 – Though a great many people tend to focus their attention on alcohol and illegal drug abuse, the most addictive drugs are often found in the medicine cabinet. Many people become addicted to medications prescribed by a licensed physician to treat chronic pain, anxiety or sleeplessness. Others steal medications from friends and family members or purchase them illegally.
10 – Though marijuana has garnered a reputation as a medicinal cure-all, the drug offers its fair share of side effects, including memory loss, learning issues, clumsiness, altered reality perceptions and increased heart rate. The THC found in marijuana works to inhibit brain function and can result in long-lasting effects even after a user has quit smoking.