Substance abuse

Essay by dkgrinerUniversity, Bachelor's June 2006

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Substance abuse and dependence are prevalent disorders. The most recent estimates for 2002 indicate that an estimated 22 million Americans aged 12 and older are classified as having a substance use disorder (9.4 percent of the population) (OAS, 2003). Of these, 3.2 million are classified with dependence on or abuse of both alcohol and illicit drugs, 3.9 million are dependent on or abused illicit drugs but not alcohol, and 14.9 million are dependent on or abused alcohol but not illicit drugs.

Only a small proportion of people with substance use disorders obtain treatment. An estimated 3.5 million people aged 12 or older (1.5 percent of the population) received some kind of care for a problem related to the use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the 12 months prior to being interviewed in 2002 (OAS, 2003). More than half of those in treatment (2.0 million) received care at a self-help group.

Approximately 2.2 million received services for alcohol problems during their most recent treatment. An estimated 974,000 people received treatment for marijuana, 796,000 for cocaine, 360,000 for pain relievers, and 277,000 for heroin.

Drug treatment centers and alcohol rehab programs are some of the few ways people can find help dealing with their addictions. Treatment center can be a safe environment where people can deal with their addiction withdrawals as well as identifying core issues behind their drug use. People also find support in others dealing with similar issues. Unfortunately it can take many visits to a rehab center before people deal with their addictions. This may be because admittance to a rehab facility is short term and can't deal with all the core issues needing to be addressed; also there is the issue of people being court ordered and with the completion of their mandated treatment they...