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Nationwide substance abuse i.e. tobacco and alcohol abuse contribute to the main causes of preventable diseases and deaths in the US. Every year, over 500,000 people die in the United States as a result of drug addiction. Alcohol is the main cause of drug abuse and addiction. This is because alcohol is the most popular and commonly used psychoactive substance. According to recent surveys on drug use, 28% of persons aged between ages 12 and 20 and 55% of persons between ages 21 and above consume alcohol at least once a month. In regards to tobacco use, approximately 25% of all individuals use tobacco i.e. smoking cigarettes at least once per month. 8% on the other hand use illicit drugs at least once every month. These are shocking statistics that demonstrate drug abuse and addiction occurrences. Below are drug abuse occurrences that set stage to addiction occurrences.
Although addictive drug disorders are widespread, their manifestations and opportunities requiring specific interventions vary widely depending on certain factors i.e. demographic groups. Understanding the specifics of drug addiction as per specific populations is important in ensuring proper diagnosis and treatment.
This refers to persons between ages 14 and 25. Young adults and adolescents represent the biggest age group that uses illicit drugs. This age is therefore more prone to drug addiction occurrences. The age where adolescents begin to use drugs such as alcohol and illicit drugs offers a powerful indicator of future alcohol and drug problems i.e. drug addiction occurrence problems. It is important to note there are some individuals begin using drugs even before age 14.
According to drug abuse and addiction statistics by the NHS (National Household Survey), teenagers consume tobacco and alcohol more than other drugs. This age group is therefore more prone to alcohol and tobacco addiction. The incidence of alcohol abuse i.e. binge drinking have increased drastically. Approximately 9% of individuals aged between 12 and 17 and 42 percent of individuals aged between 18 and 25 years binge drink (have 5 or more drinks on one occasion at least once in a month.
Heavy alcohol use incidences are also on the rise among young adults and adolescents. Heavy alcohol use can be defined as having 5 or more drinks on one occasion five or more days a month. Heavy alcohol occurrence is directly linked to alcohol addiction. The statistics indicate that approximately 3% of individuals' ages between 12 and 17 and 15 percent of individuals aged between 18 and 25 years practice heavy alcohol use. It is important to note that all heavy alcohol drinkers are binge drinkers. Most of them (approximately 50%) are alcohol addicts who either know or don't know about their alcohol addiction problem.
Marijuana use is also on the increase. According to recent surveys on marijuana use/abuse, over 40% of adolescents and young adults have used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. Typically, adolescent and young adults on drugs progress in substance abuse by beginning with commercially available/legal drugs i.e. tobacco and alcohol. They then progresses to illegal drugs such as marijuana as they go on using other drugs. Drug addiction occurrences among adolescents and young youth are therefore common for drugs such as; tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.
Drug abuse and addiction is also common in demographics such as the elderly and pregnant women. For instance research indicates that approximately 25 percent of all pregnant women use drugs such as alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs during pregnancy. These are shocking statistics given the risks associated with drug use and pregnancy. Although drug addiction occurrences among pregnant women using illicit drugs may be low, there is still a significant percentage of women addicts who continue to use illicit drugs among other legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and nicotine during pregnancy. Drug addiction occurrences among pregnant women result in serious effects. These include; foetal abnormalities,meconium staining, precipitous delivery, premature delivery among other pregnancy health problems. Drug use and addiction occurrences among pregnant women should therefore be addressed immediately to avoid serious effects.
Other demographics with drug addiction occurrences include the elderly. Although elderly drug addicts are fewer the incidences of addiction health problems among this age group are high. The elderly are also prone to special kinds of addiction i.e. vulnerability addiction because old age is associated with increased anger feelings, anxiety and depression. Drug addiction occurrences among the elderly are usually underreported. This however doesn't mean that they don't exist.
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