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Startling Substance Abuse Statistics

People understand that there’s a substance abuse crisis epidemic in America. We hear how people are overdosing at an alarming rate, and we often read stories about new designer drugs coming from other countries that have a lethal potency. However, how much do we know about these substance abuse statistics? We hear the stories, but have we thought about the hard, cold facts? Sometimes, we need to consider the statistics, especially if you or a loved one is dealing with a substance abuse issue. For those struggling with the bondage of addiction, getting substance abuse treatment in Florida brings hope and changes the stats one number at a time.

Startling Substance Abuse Statistics

The most startling thing about substance abuse statistics is how the number of overdoses has risen quite a bit in the last two decades. In 1999, there were 16,849 overdose deaths. Today there are over 70,000 deaths due to overdose. This represents a 316% increase over time. It’s important to note that the number of overdose deaths between men and women was pretty close to the same distance apart for several years. There were a couple of years when slightly more men died due to overdose than women but not much more. Then in 2016, the men’s overdose rate spiked much higher than the women’s did, and it has continued to trend higher.

So, what drugs are people overdosing on? The National Institute on Drug Abuse follows 7 different drug categories. The name and the number of deaths are as follows:

  • Antidepressants (5,269)
  • Psycho-stimulants including methamphetamine (10,333)
  • Benzos (11,537)
  • Cocaine (13,942)
  • Heroin (15,482)
  • Prescription Opioids (17,029)
  • Other synthetic narcotics (with the exception of methadone) —mainly fentanyl (28,466)

As you can see, the big jump in overdoses comes with synthetic drugs, which is mainly fentanyl.

Fentanyl-related deaths have spiked due, in part, because drug dealers are putting it in other drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The problem is that fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine, which means someone who ingests another drug laced with fentanyl could very well die of it.

Statistics About Youth and Substance Abuse

What are the substance abuse statistics concerning young people? It’s every parent’s worse nightmare to think their teen may be experimenting with drugs. The statistics on youth drug use indicate that 5,455 young people died from a drug overdose in 2017. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Cocaine (924)
  • Heroin (3,408)
  • Marijuana (0)
  • Alcohol (99)
  • Prescription drugs such as benzos and opioids (1,030-1,050)

There are reported deaths from synthetic drugs such as Spice and K2, but government entities don’t track the data.

Another noteworthy fact is that while marijuana has not resulted in any deaths, its long-term results on the brain and body are not clear. There is some evidence that it produces substantial harm to the developing brain and may even lead to mental health issues in those who are already predisposed to it.

Alcohol: The Hidden Killer

Although alcohol is not listed in the adult’s drug overdose statistics and it’s a low number for the youth statistics, it’s something that must be addressed. Alcohol is a slow killer. That may explain why the number of young people overdosing from it is relatively low compared to other substances. However, alcohol affects every part of the body. Its deteriorating impact is more apt to show up on people who have been drinking for a while. So, although not an extremely high number of people “overdose” from alcohol, there are still many “alcohol-related” deaths. In fact, according to substance abuse statistics, approximately 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related issues.

Seek Help

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance abuse problem, seek treatment at a qualified rehab. At Lucida Treatment Center, our compassionate staff is prepared to walk with you on this journey to healing. Some therapies we offer include:

Don’t wait until addiction ruins your happiness in life. You can overcome your addiction by going to a quality drug rehab center. Contact us at 888-558-9517, and we’ll get you on the road to recovery.

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