There’s nothing fun about a drug or alcohol addiction. Situations involving addiction are often painful and difficult for families and friends of people going through the addiction. Luckily. there are services available for you or your friend or loved one. No one ever has to feel completely alone as they go through addiction recovery or rehabilitation.
That being said, some of the statistics surrounding drugs and alcohol are at the very least good to be aware of. Some are even pretty interesting. Knowing the facts can help people close to those with addictions or people with addictions themselves gain a little broader perspective on why it’s so important to get proper treatment to overcome addictions.
So while the following can’t exactly be labeled as “fun” facts about addiction, they will be informative and even a little interesting. Keep reading to learn more.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Facts
Here are ten interesting facts about drugs and alcohol that you may or may not have heard of. Share these drug and alcohol abuse facts with your loved ones to inform and educate.
1. Alcohol Is a Drug
Alcohol causes more death among teenagers than any other drugs combined. Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are prevalent among young people aged 12-17. In 2015, 623,000 adolescents in that age group had an AUD problem.
Many parents have alcohol in their homes, which in and of itself isn’t a problem. The issues arise when teenagers and young people can get easy access to alcohol. Many people admit to having tried alcohol in their home before they were legally of age.
2. Adults Do Drugs Too
Lots of programs focus on teaching children to say no to drugs. While these are incredible and life-changing programs that definitely do make a difference in the lives of kids everywhere, children aren’t the only ones being attracted to drugs or targeted as potential customers.
Adults do drugs too. In fact, there’s a growing number of drug users who are past fifty years old and well into their sixties. The numbers of people with drug or alcohol issues by age group are in the millions:
- Ages 18-25: 5.1 million had a substance abuse disorder in 2017. This boils down to about 1 in 7 people affected with an abuse disorder in this age group.
- Young adults over 26: 13.6 million dealt with an alcohol disorder or substance abuse in 2017.
- Over 65: more than 1 million adults over the age of 65 dealt with addiction in 2017.
3. Many Drugs Have the Same Effect, but Some Are Much Stronger Than Others
Drug users use meth and cocaine to achieve the same effect: preventing the reuptake of dopamine, which prolongs its effects in the system. However, meth stays in the body longer and is thus capable of more permanent cell damage.
Both drugs are made up of harmful substances that do untold and terrible damage to the human body when ingested individually. Combined, all these harmful ingredients are a recipe for addiction, damage, and lots of pain.
4. Most Traffic Accidents Are Due to Drugs or Alcohol
You’ve likely heard this one before. But did you know that in 2016, 43.6% of drivers who were drug tested after people died during accidents tested positive?
Drugged and drunk driving are the leading reasons for traffic accidents. The scary thing is, it’s happening more and more often with younger people. Alcohol is the number one leading cause of these impaired driving incidents. Following alcohol, marijuana is the drug most commonly found in the bloodstream of drivers caught in accidents.
5. Cocaine Wasn’t Always a Drug
Surprise! Coca leaves were originally used–and still are today–for natural, herbal cures. Chewing the leaves can help with altitude sickness, and they also help to suppress appetite, curb thirst and fatigue, as well as pain.