Many of Americas top social problems also relate to or impact drug abuse addiction

Published: 27th October 2008
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Drug abuse is a major public health problem that impacts society on multiple levels. * Drugged Driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drugs are used by approximately 10 to 22 percent of drivers involved in crashes, often in combination with alcohol.

* Violence: At least half of the individuals arrested for major crimes including homicide, theft, and assault were under the influence of illicit drugs around the time of their arrest.

* Stress: Exposure to stress is one of the most powerful triggers of substance abuse in vulnerable individuals and of relapse in former addicts.

* Child Abuse: At least two-thirds of patients in drug abuse treatment centers say they were physically or sexually abused as children. Learn more

Drug abuse impacts the individual, family, and community.

Everybody knows someone who is affected by drug abuse.


* Adolescence: This is a time period of high vulnerability to drug abuse and other risk taking behaviors.

* Mental Illness: People with mental illness are particularly at risk for problems related to substance abuse.

* Consequences of Substance Abuse: These can include illness, injuries, and death. Each year approximately 40 million debilitating illnesses or injuries occur among Americans as the result of their use of tobacco, alcohol, or another addictive drug.

* Deaths: In 2000, approximately 460,000 deaths were attributable to illicit drug abuse and smoking.

Families can be destroyed by drug abuse:

* Prenatal:

* Smoking: Infants born to women who smoke during pregnancy have a lower average birth weight and may be at increased risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorders, and childhood obesity.

* Cocaine: Babies born to mothers who abuse cocaine during pregnancy can be born prematurely and have low birth weights. There may be as many as 45,000 cocaine-exposed babies per year.

* Child Abuse: Approximately 50% to 80% of all child abuse and neglect cases substantiated by child protective services involve some degree of substance abuse by the child's parents.

Drug Abuse Affects Us All

Drug Abuse Affect Us All - homeless person


* Homelessness: 31% of America's homeless suffer from drug abuse or alcoholism.

* Crime: As many as 60% of adults in Federal prisons are there for drug-related crimes.

* Education: Children with prenatal cocaine exposure are more likely (1.5 times) to need special education services in school. Special education costs for this population are estimated at $23 million per year.

* The Workplace: In 1997, illicit drug users were more likely than others to have missed 2 or more days of work in the past month and to have worked for three or more employers in the past year.

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