Drug Abuse

Estimated 3 million persons in the U.S. have a serious drug problem.

There is continued resistance to the idea that drug addiction is a disease.

The use of drugs alters brain circuitry involved in self-regulation and reward processing,and alters brain circuits that process mood and stress.

Substance abuse disorders occur more frequently in individuals with a comorbid mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or post traumatic stress disorder.

Early aggressive behavior is a risk factor for substance use.

A majority of mental health patients participate in the abuse of substances: 38% alcohol, 44% cocaine, and 40% cigarettes

For patients with a serious substance use disorder the taking of drugs is no longer pleasurable or voluntary, for the most part, but is a means of diminishing the distress and satisfying powerful cravings.

Estimated 100,000 Americans died from drug overdose epidemic in 2021.

About 47,000 people in the US died from opioid overdose in 2017, and 2.1 million US residents were estimated to have fulfilled the criteria for opioid use disorder within the past year.

An average of 185 people die from a drug overdose daily (2018).

In 2019 each day almost 200 people died from a drug overdose, and opioids or responsible for approximately 2/3 of the deaths.

The annual survey, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Healtj Administration found an estimated 43.5 million people (19.4%) had used an illicit drug in 2018.

The number of people 12 years or older who misuse prescription pain medication in 2018 has been estimated to be fewer than 10 million (3.6%).

Of people age 12 years and older and estimated 20.3 million had a substance use disorder, including 14.8 million with an alcohol use disorder, 8.1 million with an illicit drug use disorder, most commonly involving marijuana (4.4 million), amd2 million with an opioid use disorder, mostly involving prescription pain medications.

The number of people dying from illicit drug use surpassed that from prescription misuse, and suggest that most people who misuse illicit opioids do so for chronic pain after losing access to prescriptions.

The UN attributes 76% of addiction-related deaths worldwide to opioids, singly or in combination with other drugs.

In 2017 and estimated 11-12,000,000 people in the US, 4.2% of the total population, misused opioids including heroin.

Individuals recently released from prison or 129 times more likely than the general population to die of an overdose of opioids.

Substance-abuse, across a range of licit and illicit substance is higher among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men then among men who do not have sex with men.

Rates of overdose deaths rising faster in black, Latino, and American Indian and Alaskan native populations than in white populations.

Members of some of these groups also use medications for opioid use disorder such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone at lower rates, and have worse health outcomes in the context of substance use disorder, and are more likely to be targeted by police and incarcerated for drug possession than their white counterparts.

There is increased rates of drug abuse among MSM and other sexual and gender minority groups.

It is estimated that nearly 20,000,000 people in the US have substance use disorders.

Prevalence of opioid misuse and use disorder is prevalent at nearly 5%.

Only 4.5% of individuals that could benefit from substance-abuse treatment feel that they need it.

Opioid use disorder is a chronic brain disease, as opioid use changes brain structure and function disrupting the regulation of the system and results in tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction.

92% of people who misuse opioids do so by taking prescription opioids, and that 75% of individuals who use heroin report that they started using opioids through the misuse of prescription opioids.

Among adolescents and young adults, the risk of heroine initiation is 13 times as high in those with a history of non-medical use a prescription opioids as in those without such a history.

Overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental death.

Abuse defined as the intentional self-administration of a medication for nonmedical reasons.

The use of potentially lethal drugs such as opioids, has a direct relationship to the risk of unintentional overdose.

Dependence refers to a maladaptive pattern of substance use.

Opioid-addicted individuals readily switch to illicit opioids.

In the last year, more than 11 million Americans abused prescription opioids.

Estimated 1.29 to 2.59 million individuals that practice injection drug use.

In one month in 2007 an estimated 5.2 million people 12 years of age or older used prescription pain relievers non-medically ( National Survey On Drug Use And Health Report).

Opioid addiction presently (2014) affects 40 million Americans or 15.9% of the population: more than heart conditions, diabetes, or cancer.

Opioid use disorders represent the fastest-growing type of drug problem in United States.

Deaths due to prescription opioid use exceed 16,000 per year.

Opioid prescriptions are a major risk factor for developing substance-use disorders: almost 30% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them and up to 12% develop opioid-use disorders.

Almost 80% of people in the US who go on to use heroin regularly, started their addictions with prescription opioids.

In the US, fentanyl and fentanyl analogs caused over 29,000 deaths in 2017.

As of 2018 fentanyl was the most commonly listed opioid in overdose drug deaths surpassing heroin.

From 1999-2014, more than 165,000 persons died of overdose related to opioid pain medications in the US.

The deadliest forms of opioid misuse are intranasal and intravenous abuse.

Most serious safety events and addiction related deaths occur via intranasal and intravenous abuse, at an approximately 2 1/2 times greater prevalence rates and than oral abuse.

Approximately 57,000 emergency department visits for non-medical use of hydrocodone or hydrocodone containing combination drugs occurred in 2006, and 65,000 such visits for oxycodone or oxycodone combinations, and 45,000 for nonmedical use of methadone during the same year (Drug Abuse Warning Ninetwork, 2006).

Opioids more likely to be prescribed to women than men and women are more likely to be taking higher doses of opioids (Cicero TJ et al).

Death from opioid-related causes occurs it up to 3.8% of men and 2.2% of women who are prescribed a daily morphine equivalent dose of more than 200 mg.

Women are at greater risk for opioid misprescription ise for painful conditions such as fibromyalgia, headache, or osteoarthritis, with efficacy data suggesting that opioid therapy is non-beneficial.

Young women are almost as likely as men to abuse opiate medications.

Chronic opioid use and history of mental illness are the strongest predictors of abuse.


Because addicted to drug individuals sometimes lie, steal, and can behave aggressively, especially when experiencing with drawl or intoxicating paranoia, such behaviors make it difficult for people to except these peope or to show them compassion.


The assumption in the false belief that willpower should be sufficient to stop drug use is never entirely absent from most people’s thoughts when interacting with someone with a drug abuse problem.

Standard treatment for opiate addiction during pregnancy is methadone plus psychiatric care.

In 2007 estimated that 16 million people globally used injected drugs.

Intravenous drug use more efficient means of spread of Hepatitis B and C than is HIV.

Patients using IV drugs have significantly higher incidence of infective endocarditis in the general population and higher rates of mortality than other individuals infected in patients who do not abuse drugs.

Substance use disorders are more prevalent among adult survivors of some cancers, particularly esophageal, gastric, cancers and head and neck cancers.





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