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Substance Abuse (cont.)

Prognosis of Substance Abuse

Individuals who suffer from substance abuse tend to be more successful in recovery when they are highly motivated to be in treatment, are actively engaged in their own recovery, and receive intensive treatment services. Prognosis for substance abuse recovery is further improved by being able to easily access community-based social supports.

Costs to society

As of 2006, officials estimated that alcohol and drug abuse in the U.S. cost more than $246 billion. Some important facts about the negative impact of drug and alcohol use in the United States are as follows:

  • Crime: More than half of the economic cost of alcohol and other drugs is due to crime. A substance abuser is 18 times more likely to be involved in illegal activity than someone who does not abuse alcohol or other drugs. Many violent crimes have been linked to the mind-altering effects of drugs. Substance abusers often commit thefts to support their drug habits. Drugs and alcohol have been linked to domestic violence and sexual assault. At colleges, 75% of date rapes are alcohol-related. Among jailed sex offenders, 43% say they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their crime.
  • Disease: Most abused substances have harmful health effects. For some substances, such as tobacco, effects are caused by long-term use. For other drugs, a single use can cause death, disability, or significant disease.
  • Behavior: In addition to their direct effects on health, drugs produce other indirect effects. Many drugs lessen inhibitions and increase the likelihood that a person will participate in risky behavior. Studies show that the use of alcohol and drugs among teenagers increases chances for teen pregnancy and contracting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. Any injected drug is associated with contracting HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C.
  • Trauma: Up to 75% of injured people treated at emergency departments test positive for illicit or prescription drugs. Alcohol is strongly associated with both intentional and unintentional injury. Drug use also puts people at risk of violence. Nearly half of assault victims are cocaine users.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/6/2014

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