Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs & Alcohol

In 2014, approximately 22.5 million Americans aged 12 and older self-reported needing treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use. Addressing the impact of substance use alone is estimated to cost Americans more than $600 billion each year. Prevention of substance abuse is a key factor in public mental health. Research shows that of those adults with any mental illness, 18.2% had a substance use disorder, while those adults with no mental illness only had a 6.3% rate of substance use disorder in the past year. The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council notes that cost-benefit ratios for early treatment and prevention programs for addictions and mental illness programs range from 1:2 to 1:10. This means a $1 investment yields $2 to $10 savings in health costs, criminal and juvenile justice costs, educational costs, and lost productivity.

Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis

Opioid addiction is America’s 50-state epidemic. It courses along Interstate highways in the form of cheap smuggled heroin, and flows out of “pill mill” clinics where pain medicine is handed out like candy. It has ripped through New England towns, where people overdose in the aisles of dollar stores, and it has ravaged coal country, Read more

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