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DRUG ADDICTION FACTS AND STATISTICS

Addiction and statistics Death Drug addiction Drug Addiction facts and statistics Drug deaths Drugs Overdoses Overdoses in america Recovery

Drug Addiction Facts & Statistics

Though drug addiction touches millions of addicted individuals and their families, few realize the widespread effects of drug addiction. From youth drug experimentation and years-long addictions among adults to those whose drug use ends in fatalities, statistics on drug use can be surprising. Here are just a few of the facts and statistics surrounding drug use in the United States.

Nearly 20 percent of United States residents, spanning between the ages of 16 and 59, have experimented illegally with drugs at least once in their lifetimes. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 20 million Americans 12 and older have engaged in illegal drug use.

Nearly half of American young adults surveyed between the ages of 18 and 21 have experimented with drugs.

Drug addiction is responsible for and implicated in nearly 20,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, nearly 1,500 individuals addicted to drugs die every week across the country.

Nearly one-quarter of those who experiment with heroin develop a full-blown drug addiction.

Among adults in the United States, just over two and a half percent admit to recent cocaine abuse.

Drug addiction affects nearly six percent of those residing in the U.S., with cocaine and amphetamines cited as the two most popular drugs of choice, after marijuana.

More than 500,000 individuals are serving sentences across the country for drug-related offenses.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), nearly 2 million visits to emergency departments across the country involved the use of illegal drugs.

Effective Treatment for Drug Addiction

Once drug addiction has developed, many individuals find themselves unable to cease using drugs without enrollment in a residential addiction recovery program to obtain drug addiction help. For many drug users, psychological treatment and physical detoxification in a sober, supportive environment allows them to finally enter recovery and embark upon a lifetime of sobriety.


Deaths from heroin mixed with fentanyl overdoses are
reaching epidemic levels
The death rate from drug overdoses is climbing at a much faster pace than other causes of death, jumping to an average of 15 per 100,000 in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.
The trend is now similar to that of the human immunodeficiency virus, or H.I.V., epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said Robert Anderson, the C.D.C.’s
H.I.V. deaths rose in a shorter time frame, but their peak in 1995 is similar to the high point of deaths from drug overdoses reached in 2014, Mr. Anderson said. H.I.V., however, was mainly an urban problem. Drug overdoses cut across rural-urban boundaries.
Generated by 2016-01-12 - chart preview: 2016-01-15-drug-deaths scoop : drug-overdose-deaths-in-the-us Artboard:
In fact, death rates from overdoses in rural areas now outpace the rate in large metropolitan areas, which historically had higher rates.
Heroin abuse in states
like New Hampshire make
it a top campaign issue
Drugs deaths have skyrocketed in New Hampshire. In 2014, 326 people died from an overdose of an opioid, a class of drugs that includes heroin and fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times as powerful as morphine.
Nationally, opioids were involved in more than 61 percent of deaths from overdoses in 2014. Deaths from heroin overdoses have more than tripled since 2010 and are double the rate of deaths from cocaine.
In New Hampshire, Boston, ma (and northshore suburban areas)which holds this year’s first presidential primary, residents have repeatedly raised the issue of heroin addiction with visiting candidates.
“No group is immune to it — it is happening in our inner cities, rural and affluent communities,” said Timothy R. Rourke, the chairman of the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Most of the deaths from overdose in the state are related to a version of fentanyl. “Dealers will lace heroin with it or sell pure fentanyl with the guise of being heroin,” Mr. Rourke said.
But fentanyl can be deadlier than heroin. It takes much more naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, to revive someone who has overdosed on fentanyl.
Mr. Rourke said that high death rates in New Hampshire were symptomatic of a larger problem: The state is second to last, ahead of only Texas, in access to treatment programs. New Hampshire spends $8 per capita on treatment for substance abuse. Connecticut, for example,
Appalachia has been stricken with overdose deaths for more than a decade, in many ways because of prescription drug addiction among its workers.
West Virginia and neighboring states have many blue-collar workers, and “in that group, there’s just a lot of injuries,” said Dr. Carl R. Sullivan III, the director of addiction services at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
“In the mid-1990s, there was a social movement that said it was unacceptable for patients to have chronic pain, and the pharmaceutical industry pushed the notion that opioids were safe,” he said.
A few years ago, as laws were passed to address the misuse of prescription painkillers, addicts began turning to heroin instead, he said. Because of a lack of workers needed to treat addicts, overdose deaths have continued to afflict states like West Virginia, which has the highest overdose death rate in the nation.
“Chances of getting treatment in West Virginia is ridiculously small,” Dr. Sullivan said. “We’ve had this uptick in overdose deaths despite enormous public interest in this whole issue.”
In New Mexico, drug
addiction is being passed
to the next level
While New Mexico has avoided the national spotlight in the current wave of opioid addiction, it has had high death rates from heroin overdoses since the early 1990s.
Heroin addiction has been “passed down from generation to generation in small cities around New Mexico,” said Jennifer Weiss-Burke, executive director of Healing Addiction in Our Community, a nonprofit group formed to curb heroin addiction. “I've heard stories of grandparents who have been heroin users for years, and it is passed down to younger generations; it’s almost like a way of life.”
Dr. Michael Landen, the state epidemiologist, said the state recently began grappling with prescription opioids. Addictions have shifted to younger people and to more affluent communities.
Ms. Weiss-Burke, whose son died from a heroin overdose in 2011, said it was much harder to treat young people. “Some young people are still having fun and they don’t have the desire to get sober, so they end up cycling through treatment or end up in jail,” she said.
Her center recently treated a 20-year-old man who was sober for five months before relapsing, then relapsed several more times after that.
“When you go right back to the same environment, it’s hard to stay clean,” she said. “Heroin craving continues to haunt a person for years.”until death is the final outcome for most playing this game of Russian roulette !
Deaths from drug overdoses have jumped in nearly every county across the United States, driven largely by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin.
Some of the largest concentrations of overdose deaths were in Appalachia and the Southwest, according to new county-level estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of these deaths reached a new peak in 2014: 47,055 people, or the equivalent of about 125 Americans every day.
Deaths from overdoses are
reaching levels similar to the
H.I.V. epidemic at its peak.
The death rate from drug overdoses is climbing at a much faster pace than other causes of death, jumping to an average of 15 per 100,000 in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.
The trend is now similar to that of the human immunodeficiency virus, or H.I.V., epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said Robert Anderson, the C.D.C.’s chief of mortality
H.I.V. deaths rose in a shorter time frame, but their peak in 1995 is similar to the high point of deaths from drug overdoses reached in 2014, Mr. Anderson said. H.I.V., however, was mainly an urban problem. Drug overdoses cut across rural-urban boundaries.
chart preview:overdose-deaths-in-the-us
In fact, death rates from overdoses in rural areas now outpace the rate in large metropolitan areas, which historically had higher rates
Drugs deaths have skyrocketed in New Hampshire. In 2014, 326 people died from an overdose of an opioid, a class of drugs that includes heroin and fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times as powerful as morphine.
Nationally, opioids were involved in more than 61 percent of deaths from overdoses in 2014. Deaths from heroin overdoses have more than tripled since 2010 and are double the rate of deaths from cocaine.
In New Hampshire, which holds this year’s first presidential primary, residents have repeatedly raised the issue of heroin addiction with visiting candidates.
“No group is immune to it — it is happening in our inner cities, rural and affluent communities,” said Timothy R. Rourke, the chairman of the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Most of the deaths from overdose in the state are related to a version of fentanyl. “Dealers will lace heroin with it or sell pure fentanyl with the guise of being heroin,” Mr. Rourke said.
But fentanyl can be deadlier than heroin. It takes much more naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, to revive someone who has overdosed on fentanyl.What is it?
Fentanyl is a pain medication, 100 times more potent than morphine, that’s only prescribed to a patient if their current opioid medication for pain management isn’t doing the job.
Like all opiates, fentanyl increases the dopamine levels in a person’s brain to produce a state of euphoria, a reaction only amplified when mixed with heroin, hydrocodone, or other illegally-sold prescription painkillers. Unlike other opiates, fentanyl is extremely fast-acting.
“You can’t move,” an unidentified woman told the New York Times. “When you inject it, it hits before you’re even done giving the shot.”
This is one of the reasons, she added, that many people who overdose on the synthetic drug are found with the needle still stuck in their arm.
Mr. Rourke said that high death rates in New Hampshire were symptomatic of a larger problem: The state is second to last, ahead of only Texas, in access to treatment programs. New Hampshire spends $8 per capita on treatment for substance abuse. Connecticut, for example,
Appalachia has been stricken with overdose deaths for more than a decade, in many ways because of prescription drug addiction among its workers.
West Virginia and neighboring states have many blue-collar workers, and “in that group, there’s just a lot of injuries,” said Dr. Carl R. Sullivan III, the director of addiction services at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
“In the mid-1990s, there was a social movement that said it was unacceptable for patients to have chronic pain, and the pharmaceutical industry pushed the notion that opioids were safe,” he said.
A few years ago, as laws were passed to address the misuse of prescription painkillers, addicts began turning to heroin instead, Marblehead, Mass.
In Suburbia, ‘Tired of Everything’
Katie Harvey walked out of the house where she lived with friends, shoved her duffel bag into her mother’s car and burst into tears.
“I need to go to detox,” she told her mother, Maureen Cavanagh. “I’m just tired of everything.”
Ms. Harvey, 24, had been shooting heroin for three years. She had been in and out of detox — eight times altogether. But it had always been someone else’s idea.
This time, Ms. Harvey made the arrangements herself. She had come to loathe her life. “I haven’t even been doing enough to get really high,” she said. “I’m just maintaining myself so I don’t get sick.”
Before she left for detox, Ms. Harvey curled up on the couch in her mother’s living room in this well-to-do suburb north of Boston and reflected on her life: her low self-esteem despite model-worthy good looks; her many lies to her family; how she had pawned her mother’s jewelry and had sex with strange men for money to pay for drugs.
As she spoke, tears spilled from her eyes. She wiped them with the cuff of her sweater, which covered track marks and a tattoo that said “freedom” — her goal, to be unshackled from the prison of addiction.Opioid addiction is America’s 50-state epidemic. It courses along Interstate highways in the form of cheap smuggled heroin, and flows out of “pill mill” clinics where pain medicine is handed out like candy. It has ripped through New England towns, where people overdose in the aisles of dollar stores, and it has ravaged coal country, where addicts speed-dial the sole doctor in town licensed to prescribe a medication.
Public health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,000 people in 2015. Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of deaths from car crashes. In 2015, for the first time, deaths from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides.
And there’s no sign it’s letting up, a team of New York Times reporters found as they examined the epidemic on the ground in states across the country. From New England to “safe injection” areas in the Pacific Northwest, communities are searching for a way out of a problem that can feel inescapable.
Among her words of advice: Tell your children you love them, because “it might be the last thing you say to them.” Andrea Steen is one of the fortunate ones. For people in this rural community of 28,000, getting medication to help overcome opioid addiction used to require long drives to treatment centers.
That changed about a year ago when two doctors here were licensed to prescribe Suboxone, a drug that eases withdrawal symptoms and helps keep opioid cravings at bay. Now Ms. Steen is one of their patients, coming once a month to check in and renew her prescription.
This epidemic is different from those of the past in significant ways. One is that it has spawned a growing demand for medications that can help modify addiction’s impact.
One of them is naloxone, known as Narcan, a powerful antidote that has jolted hundreds of overdosed users back to life. Another is buprenorphine, typically sold as Suboxone.
By keeping users from experiencing cravings and withdrawal, Suboxone can make it easier for addicts to stay off heroin and other opioids. The number of doctors certified to prescribe buprenorphine has more than doubled since 2011, to about 36,000 from about 16,000, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Yet the drug remains out of reach for many rural Americans.
Ms. Steen, 46, is among 20 patients who get Suboxone from the two doctors authorized to prescribe it here. Until last summer, she said, she abused Vicodin and morphine relentlessly. She would steal them from her disabled husband, who would try in vain to hide them. But sometimes she couldn’t root out the pills fast enough, and she would experience what every addict dreads most: withdrawal.
She heard about Suboxone from a friend in Tennessee whom she met through Facebook.
“She could tell when I was high,” Ms. Steen said. “Her husband was on Suboxone. She was trying to help me.”
Ms. Steen started on Suboxone in July, initially making weekly visits to Dr. Nicole Gastala and Dr. Timothy Swinton, the family practitioners here who prescribe the drug. Then it was every other week.
Unlike methadone, which also helps treat opioid addiction but must be taken under supervision at special clinics, Suboxone can be taken at home. Some doctors fail to follow Suboxone patients closely, or to test their urine to make sure they are not abusing or selling the medication or using other drugs. But the protocol here is strict.
Besides her doctor visits, Ms. Steen must attend group therapy and have regular urine tests.
She has mostly stopped craving opioids, for now. Sometimes they call themselves “the last responders.”
They work in the county medical examiner’s office, in a low-slung brick building downtown in the shadow of an old Pabst factory. Here is where they take over after a drug addiction has been more powerful than pleas from family, 12-step programs or even Narcan.
“We’re the end of the line,” said Sara Schreiber, the forensic technical director, walking through the autopsy rooms to talk about the office’s part in the opioid addiction epidemic — a crisis that has hit especially hard here.
Last year, 299 people in Milwaukee County died of drug-related overdoses. One of them was the medical examiner’s own son.
Adam Peterson died in September at the age of 29, found unresponsive in a friend’s apartment. “At this time I am not speaking publicly about Adam’s death, and I appreciate your forbearance as my wife and I work through this issue,” his father, Brian L. Peterson, the medical examiner, wrote in an email.
Dr. Peterson has continued his work despite his grief. He oversees a staff of nearly 30 people — administrators, toxicologists and laboratory employees — who have perhaps never been more overwhelmed. They are confronting a surge of drug-related deaths in Milwaukee County, the most populous county in Wisconsin, with nearly one million people in the city and suburbs.
They have witnessed an alarming rise in drug-related deaths for years now: 251 deaths in 2014, 255 in 2015, and they surpassed those figures in 2016. Dr. Peterson’s son was among those who died last summer in a surge of overdoses that in seven weeks took more than 70 lives.
Ms. Schreiber has witnessed much of the epidemic. The victims have been mostly middle-aged; more male than female; more white than black.
As she walked through the laboratory, she pointed out the epidemic’s effects. Now, the machines that analyze blood to help determine the ever-more-toxic blends of drugs are running far more often. They’re juggling more cases and analyzing more specimens than before.
Ms. Schreiber and her colleagues struggle with questions that they cannot answer. What can they do to stem the epidemic? How can they influence people while they are still alive?
It’s hard to know where to begin, she said. “You can’t outrun it... It comes down to "recovery or death"!







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