In this two part series, we’re going to take a look at addiction in America. It’s one of the biggest issues facing our society today. There are 40 million people in the U.S. who fit the criteria of an addict. The government spends 700 billion dollars a year on costs associated with drug and alcohol addiction. It’s reaching epidemic proportions in terms of its impact on society. It affects the economy, the criminal justice system, public health care as well as the safety of our families and communities. The impact of addiction is felt by all genders, ages, and races, and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
The statistics we found should serve as a wake up call that this problem is something we need to address. The numbers below increase year over year:
- 22.6 million people over 12 years of age are current or former drug users.
- 20.2 million people over the age of 18 use illegal drugs.
- 7,800 people per day start taking drugs for the first time.
- 58.6 million people participate in binge drinking.
- 10 million people ages 12 to 20 drink alcohol.
Addiction also carries a high price tag for tax payers. We spend $61 million in the legal system to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate people involved in drug-related crimes. Over $18 billion dollars are spent on healthcare for drug related medical problems and treatment. In addition, the companies we work for spend $81 billion a year on issues relating to employees who use drugs.
We also found that drug addicts and alcoholics aren’t getting treatment. Only 9 percent of the 22.7 million Americans who needed help were able to get it. Many people don’t have insurance that will cover it and can’t afford to pay out of pocket. Without treatment, the problems associated with drug and alcohol addiction will continue to increase.
These problems, which we will cover in more detail in part two, include:
- Crimes such as theft, assault and murder
- Domestic violence
- Car accidents, including fatal crashes
- Unprotected sex, which can lead to unplanned pregnancies and the spread of AIDS and STDs
- Child neglect and abuse
- Drug overdoses that result in hospitalization and death
Education and outreach is vital in stopping this epidemic. Programs found in schools, public service announcements seen on television and in magazines help educate people on the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. If people are reminded of the long lasting and damaging results of taking drugs or drinking too much, they can make better choices.
Alternative Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Columbus, OH
The number of people affected by drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and other forms of substance abuse is growing. Legacy Freedom Treatment Center is here to help. We offer holistic drug rehab in Columbus to help with your recovery. Our customized treatment plans meet the needs of the individual, not the bottom line. We don’t believe in a “cookie cutter” approach and that’s why we have a proven record of success. We offer alternative and holistic therapies in order to provide the best treatment plan in dealing with drug or alcohol addiction. Call our Columbus addiction treatment center today to talk with an admissions counselor.