In 2015, 27 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the last 30 days, which corresponds to about one in 10 Americans. In that same year, more than 52,000 people died from a drug overdose and 63% of those deaths involved an opioid. The good news is that illicit drug use in teens has decreased during the last several years, although teen drug addiction remains a major public health concern. Substance abuse is a chronic disease requiring proper intervention, detoxification and subsequent treatment. A wide array of medical and psychiatric comorbidities are common among those with substance addictions, making care delivery complex for both clinicians and clients.
At Elements, we understand addiction is a disease with a trickle-down effect, impacting not only the addict’s life, but the lives of family members, friends and sometimes even strangers. It can be extremely perplexing for anyone who has never abused drugs to understand why people do this to themselves. Learning about what drives drug abuse can help people impacted by it better understand its complexities and seek appropriate help. Read in our resource section about addiction to drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, steroids and co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness. These articles will help you separate fact from fiction, discover why some people are more prone to addiction, recognize signs and symptoms of drug abuse and may even help you prevent relapse.