Alcohol is responsible for approximately 23% of the deaths in the United States. By comparison cancer is responsible for approximately 10% of deaths in the United States. (RT Ravenbrook 'Addiction Mortality in the United States)
Governments claim to spend significant amounts on substance abuse. How much is spent on substance abuse treatment?
For every $1 governments spend on substance misuse and addiction, 94 cents go to "shovel up" the consequences instead of for treatment. (Join together.org)
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drugs are used by 10 to 22 percentof drivers involved in crashes, often in combination with alcohol.
- One study found that about 34 percent of motor vehicle crash victims admitted to a trauma center tested positive for “drugs only"; about 16 percent tested positive for “alcohol only." Approximately 9.9 percent (or 1 in 10) tested positive for alcohol and drugs, and within this group, 50 percent were younger than age 18 years old. (NHTSA)
- About one in three high school seniors has, in a 2-week period, either driven a vehicle after drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs or ridden as a passenger with a driver under the influence of those substances, a NIDA-supported study suggests.
In addition to the cost of personal tragedy, untreated substance abuse adds significant costs to communities, including violent and property crimes, prison expenses, court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, child abuse and neglect, lost child support, foster care and welfare costs, reduced productivity, unemployment, and victimization. The cost to society of drug abuse in 2002 was estimated at $181 billion, $107 billion of which was associated with drug-related crime. (NMHSA)
Yes it is a disease. It effects approximatley 5% of the population. Addiction has been perviously misunderstood as solely a personal weakness or a product of culture. The brainscan on the left is a person suffering from the “disease of addiction”. The brainscan on the right is a from a normal person.
Brainscan of person with Brainscan of a Normal Brain The Disease of Addiction
- A 2010 study conferenced a 400% increase in prescription drug abuse over the last ten years (SAMHSA)
- Since 2000, non-illicit drugs such as oxycodone, fentanyl and methadone contribute more to overdose fatalities in Utah than illicit drugs such as heroin (UTDH)
- Data clearly shows alarming trends in both the use and consequences of prescription narcotic drugs, signaling this issue as an important substance use issue to be addressed by the state. Utah has among the highest rates (3rd) in the nation for past year non-medical use of narcotic pain relievers. (UDTH)
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders found that 10.5 percent of 12th graders reported using Vicodin for non-medical reasons and 4.5 percent of 12th graders reported using OxyContin without a prescription' (NDIA)
It is estimated that for every dollar spent on addiction treatment programs, there is a $4 to $7 reduction in the cost of drug-related crimes. With some outpatient programs, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12:1. (NMHSA)