More Americans aged 12 to 17 are shunning from illicit drugs and binge drinking as new data showed continued lower rates of illicit drug use, current drinking use and binge drinking amongst the said age group.
Data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) on its National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that the rate of current (past month) illicit drug use was lower among adolescents aged 12 to 17 in 2013 (8.8 percent) than 2012 (9.5 percent) and 2002 (11.6 percent). SAMHSA’s NSDUH report also found that between 2002 and 2013, the level of youth aged 12 to 17 with substance dependence or abuse problems decreased from 8.9 percent to 5.2 percent.
SAMHSA issued its 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Heath (NSDUH) report on substance use disorder issues as part of the 25th annual observance of National Recovery Month this September.
Recovery Month aims to educate the public that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, that treatment for substance use and mental health disorders is effective, and that people can and do recover.
The SAMHSA report also found that the rates of past month drinking (11.6 percent), and binge drinking (6.2 percent) among adolescents aged 12 to 17 decreased from their levels in 2012 (12.9 percent and 7.2 percent respectively). The percentage of people aged 12 and older who drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year in 2013 was 10.9 percent, significantly lower than the level in 2002 (14.2 percent), but similar to the rate in 2012 (11.2 percent).
Brady Grainier, Chief Operating Officer at BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX), a company that licenses and distributes its alcohol and opioid addiction treatment program, welcomed the positive development. He said the downward trend in both illicit drugs and alcohol abuse amongst young Americans is very encouraging.
“It’s great to see some of these numbers come down. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues for 2014. Regardless, there’s still more work to be done,” said Granier.
Overall, the use of illicit drugs among Americans aged 12 and older remained stable since the last survey in 2012. The NSDUH report shows that 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users – (9.4 percent of the population 12 and older).
Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug. In 2013, 19.8 million or 7.5 percent of Americans age 12 and older were current users of marijuana – up from 5.8 percent in 2007.
The SAMHSA report indicated that the level of use for most other illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and prescription pain relievers (used non-medically) remained similar to what they had been in 2012.
“This report shows that we have made important progress in some key areas, but that we need to rejuvenate our efforts to promote prevention, treatment, and recovery to reach all aspects of our community,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “The real lives represented by these statistics deserve our protection and help from the ravages of substance use disorders. Through a comprehensive, national effort we can help people avoid or recover from substance use problems and lead healthy, productive lives.”
The 2013 report also showed that many Americans needing treatment for a substance use disorder are still not receiving specialty treatment. According to the report, 22.7 million Americans aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2013 and only 2.5 million (or 10.9 percent of those in need) received it in a specialized treatment setting (a facility specifically designed for the treatment of substance use disorders).
NSDUH is a scientifically conducted annual survey of approximately 70,000 people throughout the country, aged 12 and older. Because of its statistical power, it is a primary source of statistical information on the scope and nature of many substance abuse and mental health issues affecting the nation.
BioCorRx, Inc. has developed an innovative approach to alcohol and opioid abuse treatment called the Start Fresh Program that is believed by some experts to be a “game-changer” in the rehabilitation sector.