Substance Use and Addiction
You will see the term “Substance Use” or “Substance Use
Disorders” utilized instead of substance “abuse”, so
that individuals needing help are not cast as “bad people,”
which creates stigma that may cause them to avoid seeking help. People
who are dependent or addicted to drugs have an illness.
What is addiction?
“Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease affecting the brain’s
reward, motivation, and related systems.People struggling with addiction
are unable to control their actions or make rational decisions about their
behavior, even in the face of negative consequences.”
Substance Use Statistics
- 55.8 million people were cigarette smokers in 2013
- Men abuse illicit drugs more than women.
- American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest rate of illicit drug
dependence; Asian Americans have the lowest.
- Each year about 5,000 youth under 21 die as a result of underage drinking.
- In 2012, 58% of people who tried alcohol for the first time were under
the age of 18.
- In 2014, Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Maryland High School Students surveyed
were more likely to have used tobacco, alcohol and marijuana than their
What Causes People to Use Substances?
- A variety of things, a combination of things, and not always completely
- A legitimate need for the drug to treat a condition may lead to use for
Commonly Used Street Drugs
- Stimulants - Cocaine, Amphetamines, Methamphetamine, Some ADHD Meds
Commonly Used Hallucinogens
Most Used Opiates
- Street Heroin - Heroin is less expensive and more potent than ever before.
Now some dealers cut it with Fentanyl, an extremely potent narcotic, which
will kill an unknowing user.
- Hydrocodone - Prescribed by doctors and also bought on the street; stolen
from medicine cabinets