The Stats on Drug AddictionAuthor: Mervin Hester
Some people don't like being quoted statistics. But when we speak of statistics on drug addiction, the numbers are actually important. These numbers can help us identify problem areas with drug addictions and help us better understand what exactly is going on with drug addiction in the country.
For example, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States according to a 2005 survey. Over seventy-six percent of the population reported using marijuana in that year's time.
An estimated 15.9 million Americans aged twelve or older reported using illicit drug in the month prior to the 2005 survey. That statistic represents 7.1 percent of the population 12 or older. This is an increase of almost 8 percent from the previous year.
Drug addiction statistics can be a little bit scary as well. Consider that in 2003, there were nearly 20,000 deaths directly attributed to drug use both legal and illegal. Of those deaths, about 3 percent were to people 21 years of age and under.
In the year 2001 alone, use of the club drug Ecstasy increased by 58 percent from the previous year. This statistic was calculated by the amount of people who were admitted to a hospital emergency room with Ecstasy overdoses.
Statistics on rehabilitation center admissions also paint a sad picture of drug addiction. In 2006, there were over 175,000 people who checked themselves into a rehab facility. It is estimated that 5 percent of those people returned to using drugs after they were released.
Methamphetamine use is on the rise as well. In 2006, a whopping 15 percent of the population reported using meth as their primary illicit drug. This can be attributed to the fact that meth is easy to make with common household items and produces a significant high for the user that cannot be obtained by using any other drug.
Perhaps the scariest statistics on drug addiction are the ones that involve our youth. A significant percentage of young people report having been introduced to one type of drug or another on a regular basis by the age of 13. Nearly fifty percent of those children will try drugs by that age, and 20 percent will become addicted before graduating from high school.
It can be a big, bad world out there - for adults and children alike. We may sincerely want to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to drug abuse and addiction, but we can't. When presented with statistics on drug addiction, there's really no way we can ignore the fact that there's a problem in this country - a serious problem - with drugs.