Drug stats show need for recovery
Drug and alcohol abuse have become so commonplace in society that many of us personally know an addict.
We often discuss substance abuse’s affects on the community through crime. Many times, especially in Jeff Davis, murders, shootings, robberies, burglaries and domestic violence are linked in some way to illegal drug activity. Fights erupt between dealers and users; addicts steal to support habits; and men and women addicted to a substance take their frustrations out on an innocent spouse or child.
We hardly look at how drugs are destroying our communities by destroying its people. Drug users and alcoholics never set out to become addicts or behave as they do. Drugs are illegal and dangerous, but it is unfair to judge someone who is struggling with such a situation. We do not know what decisions or circumstances led them to drugs or alcohol and, unless we have experienced the pain and challenge of recovery, we cannot understand the battle they face in becoming sober.
While drug use among teens and young adults is common, we must not forget that many of our older adults are crippled by addiction.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2010, the rate of current illicit drug use among adults aged 26 or older was 6.6 percent, with 4.8 percent current users of marijuana and 2.2 percent current non-medical users of psychotherapeutic drugs. Less than one percent each used cocaine (0.5 percent), hallucinogens (0.2 percent), heroin (0.1 percent),and inhalants (0.1 percent). These rates were similar to those reported in 2009. However, the rate of current marijuana use in 2010 was significantly higher than the rates in 2002 through 2008.
Among adults aged 50 to 59, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 2.7 to 5.8 percent between 2002 and 2010 (Figure 2.8). For those aged 50 to 54, the rate increased from 3.4 percent in 2002 to 7.2 percent in 2010. Among those aged 55 to 59, current illicit drug increased from 1.9 percent in 2002 to 4.1 percent in 2010.
September is only a few days away and that month is recognized as National Recovery Month. This year, let’s hope more people in our community embrace recovery and start walking a much healthier, safer path.
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