10 Drug Addiction Facts

  1. Drug addiction takes its toll on all Americans. The emotional and financial impact resonates throughout every town, community and state.
  2. Drug addiction and abuse costs the American taxpayers an average of $484 billion each year. This number includes lost job wages, health care costs, crime, traffic accidents and associated costs of the criminal justice system.
  3. Drug addiction and abuse is linked to at least half of all major crimes committed in the United States. Roughly half of those taken into custody for violent offenses such as assault or homicide were under the influence at the time of arrest.
  4. Nearly two-thirds of individuals who wound up in addiction recovery centers report sexual or physical abuse as children. Studies show child abuse to be a major factor in drug addiction later in life.
  5. Nearly a million Americans abuse prescription stimulants every month. Common stimulants include prescription medications such as Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine, plus cocaine and other amphetamines and can be quite addictive.
  6. Many drugs are addictive due to the chemical changes they trigger in the brain. Brain chemistry affects how people act, feel and experience life overall. By changing the equation, these substances can cause permanent harm and even psychosis.
  7. Substance users may crush and then snort, inhale or inject their drugs of choice. Any IV drug use increases the risk of HIV exponentially.
  8. Inhalants encompass an array of office and household products. Users will inhale the fumes emitted by these products to obtain a high. Common inhalants include paints, glues, gas and other chemicals. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the largest at-risk group for inhalant use are adolescents ages 12 to 15 years.
  9. Though many people tend to focus their attention on alcohol and illegal drug use, the most addictive drugs are often found in the medicine cabinet. Many people become addicted to medications prescribed by a licensed physician to treat chronic pain, anxiety or sleeplessness. Others steal medications from friends and family members, or purchase them illegally.
  10. Though marijuana has garnered a reputation as a medicinal cure, the drug offers its fair share of side-effects, including memory loss, learning issues, clumsiness, altered reality perceptions and increased heart rate. The THC found in marijuana works to inhibit brain function and can result in long-lasting effects even after a user has quit using.

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