Recent analysis of the US drug problem shows addiction to drugs and alcohol on the rise amongst the general population. This doesn’t apply to strictly teens or college students, but adults over the age of 40 as well. While abuse generally begins as early as 12 or 13 years old, the spike in abuse statistics indicates that use is continuing into the later years of life.
We see the effects of substance abuse across in every area of life—our economy, our schools and our families. How bad has it really become, and what can we do to stop this freight train of an epidemic?
Popular Drugs Of Today
There is a lengthy list of drugs currently in circulation in our country—it can be hard to keep up. However, some simple education on the subject can be enough to combat addiction.
Street Drugs – This includes drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, meth, heroin and marijuana. These drugs all continue to be popular, with marijuana holding the number one spot. Marijuana tends to be considered “safe and natural,” because it comes from a plant. Marijuana is actually a highly toxic chemical which leads to a number of health risks.
Synthetic Drugs – Perhaps the most media-popular substance at the moment, synthetic drugs have been around for the past 5-10 years. Marketing themselves as safe alternatives to marijuana, meth and ecstasy, these substances are anything but safe. Chemically inconsistent and unregulated, synthetic drugs are responsible for a number of deaths, overdoses and accidents.
Prescription Drugs – The abuse of prescription drugs now surpasses almost every other drug currently used in America. Driven by literally millions of prescrptions each year, the mass distribution of these drugs has led to their abuse in almost every age group; tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants and pain relievers alike are abused by high school youth, college students and adults.
Devastation Of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is such a popular social drug that it can be easy to forget the addiction and tragedy surrounding its use. Abuse of alcohol is common among adults in their 40s and 50s, but this abuse also begins at a very young age—during which time alcohol acts as a gateway substance to other drug abuse.
Through its effects on the brain and central nervous system, alcohol makes its users either temporarily alert, aggressive, relaxed or sometimes just tired. By lowering moral inhibitions, teens and adults alike find themselves more involved in risky behavior—drinking and driving, questionable sexual practices, fights, embarrassing behavior, etc. Notably, over 5000 young Americans die each year as a result of underage drinking. Though Alcohol appears to adversely effect teens with developing morals in a big way, an additional 15,000 Americans over 21 are involved in alcohol-related fatal car crashes each year.
Students (college and high school) spend nearly $6 billion on alcohol every year. This is more than coffee, juice, water, books and soft drinks combined. Further, the average American consumes about 30 gallons of Alcohol per year which results in a traffic accident every 30 seconds.
All these facts combined makes alcohol the number one drug problem in America.
The U.S. Needs More Prevention Strategies Like The Drug Narconon Program
Programs like the drug Narconon program and many other private and public facilities have seen that alcohol abuse is proven to start at a very young age.
Presently, our school systems lack stable or effective drug and alcohol prevention strategies. The best thing you as a parent can do is to keep your children busy and stay closely involved with their daily activities. Ensure they know they can come to you with any questions, and always provide the truth—don’t “overhype” or try to scare them. Kids are smart; they can tell what truth is and what isn’t.
For more information on prevention or rehabilitation through the drug Narconon program contact us today.