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10 Percent Americans Use Illicit Drugs

Sep 06, 2014 05:15 AM EDT
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A report compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that marijuana is the most widely used drug in the United States. Nearly 10 percent of Americans aged 12 years and above used illicit drugs in 2013.

The observations were made after analysing the data collected from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The researchers found that nearly 20 million people confessed to smoking marijuana.

The results showed that 4.5 million people reported using prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons, 1.5 million people admitted to using cocaine, 595,000 people used methamphetamine and 289,000 million used heroin. The report further stated that almost 23 million Americans needed treatment for drug or alcohol use. However, only 2.5 million received treatment at a speciality facility.

"As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Recovery Month our nation can be proud of the strides made in successfully promoting the power of recovery from mental and substance use disorders," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in a press release. "However, throughout our nation thousands still needlessly suffer the ravages of untreated substance use and mental disorders. We must reach out to all people with unmet need so that they can return to lives full of hope, well-being and fulfillment."

According to the report, more than 14 percent of adults reported getting mental health counseling. Around 10 million people had serious mental health disorders that negatively affected a major life activity. Overall, about 44 million people had a mental illness.

Michael Botticelli, acting director of National Drug Control Policy, said, "We must continue to use that voice to share our triumphs and our challenges, and show the world that millions of us are leading happy, healthy, productive lives in long-term recovery. Each recovery story we tell chips away at the misconceptions that keep someone struggling with an addictive disorder from asking for help."

The report, Substance Use and Mental Health Estimates from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health-Overview of Findings', can be found here.

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