People throughout the United States use a variety of addictive substances. Some substances are more common than others, though. If you or a loved one is abusing one of the most commonly used substances in the United States, you have choices on where to get treatment.
Alcohol Is One Of The Most Commonly Used Addictive Substances
The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that over 86% of adults in the United States have consumed alcohol at least once in their lives. The same survey showed that a little over 70% of adults drank alcohol within that last year.
The huge number of adults drinking alcohol makes alcohol abuse more common as well. Around 15 million adults in the same survey stated that they struggled with alcohol use disorder. Yet, only around one million of those who reported their alcohol use problems sought help during the course of the year. There are people who start abusing alcohol or continue their alcohol abuse every year. Some don’t even realize they have a problem with alcohol consumption.
Opiates Are The Some Of The Most Commonly Prescribed Addictive Substances
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 2 million Americans struggled with opiate abuse or addiction in 2012. This is due to the increase in opiate prescriptions that physicians prescribed to patients over the past few decades. In 1991, physicians only prescribed 76 million opiate prescriptions to patients. Over the years that number gradually increased until, in 2013, physicians write almost 207 million prescriptions for patients across the United States.
The increase in prescriptions has increased the number of cases of opiate abuse and addiction. An increasing number of people have entered emergency care because of non-prescription use of opiate-based medications. Some common opiates include Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet, though any opiates can lead to substance abuse and addiction if patients don’t use them as the doctor directs.
Heroin Has Increased In Use Because Of Other Addictive Substances
Heroin and opiates affect the body and mind in a similar way. That’s why some people who can’t get access to the prescription opiates they feel like they need end up switching to heroin when their prescriptions run out. Heroin use in the United States nearly doubled from 2005 to 2012. The number only continues to increase.
Heroin abuse is one of the reasons why there’s an opioid epidemic in the United States. Because it’s cheaper and, in some cases, easier to get a hold of than prescription medications, people are able to continue their opioid abuse.