Drug Abuse: Statistics and Reasons

It seems these kinds of blog posts often include a lot of statistics about drugs and drug abuse. But, given the enormity of these statistics, it’s important to discuss them.

For example, from 1999 to 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that drug overdoses killed more than 630,000 people in the United States. During this same period, opioid-related overdoses killed more than 350,000 U.S. residents. That’s more than one-third of a million people.

The staggering number includes people who died from overdoses relating to illegal opioid/opiate drugs such as heroin and some forms of fentanyl. It might surprise some people to discover that many of these 350,000 opioid deaths also include people who died from overdoses from prescription opioid/opiate drugs.

Drugs are not just illicit substances sold by drug dealers. They’re also substances prescribed by doctors and sold by pharmacists in neighborhood drugstores. They’re in many medicine cabinets and used by our children, our parents, our friends, and us.

This is not to say that all drugs are harmful all of the time, of course. If people take medications correctly and under the supervision of medical professionals, drugs can improve the quality of their lives and even save their lives.

But, people do not always use drugs correctly. They might take them incorrectly because they’re confused. Or, the drugs they take might produce harmful interactions with other drugs that they’re taking.

Or, people might abuse drugs for other reasons. They might abuse drugs because

• They want to get high or boost their energy.
• They feel that they’ll help them escape from painful personal problems.
• They might be curious about drugs and want to experiment.
• They might be bored.

Depending on how people use them, drugs have the power to change lives in positive or negative ways.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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