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Substance abuse affects all racial, cultural, and economic groups. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance, regardless of race or ethnicity, and there are far more persons who smoke cigarettes than persons who use illicit drugs. Usage rates for an array of substances reveal that for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.
Additional findings include the following:
Substance Use in the Past Year, 1998
African American, Not Hispanic
Aged 12 to 17 Years
Any illicit drug
DSU = Data are statistically unreliable.
Source: National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Population Estimates 1998, SAMHSA.
Older adolescents and adults with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders need explicit and appropriate treatment for their disorders. Those who suffer from co-occurring disorders, however, frequently are turned away from treatment designed for one or the other problem but not for both. (See Focus Area 18. Mental Health and Mental Disorders.)
The population aged 65 years and older faces risks for alcohol-related problems, although this group consumes comparatively low amounts of alcoholic beverages. Adverse alcohol-drug interaction can put older people in the hospital, since many take multiple medications. In addition, many cases of memory deficits and dementia now are understood to result from alcoholism.
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