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 Something of substance 
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Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 7:00 pm
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Post Something of substance
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- More than 10 percent of U.S. adults abuse or become addicted to drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines at some point in their lives, but few get treatment, according to a study published Monday.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health researchers called their work the first detailed accounting of drug abuse among U.S. adults since the early 1990s but did not compare the latest numbers with drug abuse prevalence in the past.

The researchers based their findings on interviews with 43,093 people in 2001 and 2002. They estimated 10.3 percent of U.S. adults abused drugs during their lifetimes, including 2.6 percent who become addicted.

The researchers said 2 percent reported symptoms of abuse or addiction in the previous year. They defined abuse as an intense desire to use drugs to the exclusion of other activities and addiction as physical dependence on a drug.

Men were much more likely than women to abuse drugs, the study found, with 13.8 percent of men and 7.1 percent of women doing so at some point. Drug problems also were more common among younger people, most frequently appearing around age 20.

Whites were more likely than blacks or Hispanics to report they had drug problems at some point, the study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found. There was a higher-than-expected rate among American Indians.

"Drug addiction and abuse are common problems among adults in the United States," Dr. Wilson Compton of the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

"There's this myth that they (drugs) are mostly a problem of minorities and that would just not be true," Compton said.

Only 8.1 percent of drug abusers and 37.9 percent of those who became addicted said they got treatment, the study found.

"We are concerned because treatment rates are this low despite the availability of effective interventions," NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow said in a statement. "We must encourage the public to view addiction as a brain disease that needs to be treated like any other chronic disease."
Marijuana most common

The study found that marijuana was the most commonly abused drug -- 8.5 percent said they had abused it -- followed by cocaine (2.8 percent) and amphetamines (2 percent).

The study also looked at abuse of other drugs such as heroin, opioids, hallucinogens, PCP, inhalants, tranquilizers and sedatives. It did not track alcohol or tobacco use.

There was a strong relationship between drug problems and mental illness, particularly people with depression, bipolar disorders and anxiety disorders, Compton added.

Compton said people who come forward for treatment of a serious mental illness should be screened for drug abuse, and drug abusers should be screened for mental illness.

Compton said the costs to society of drug abuse include more crime, illness and family discord, and less work productivity.


Mon May 07, 2007 5:52 pm
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So what does this all mean? One in every ten people you meet can hook you up.

At least, that's what I took away from this news.


Mon May 07, 2007 5:52 pm
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 3:38 pm
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...oddly, my sentiments were nearly the same, which brought to mind the astounding fact that 50% of people will have some form of STD in their lifetimes. I oftentimes sit and wonder how many people around me are currently suffering "the itch." Just one of the many wondrous things a person can learn in med courses. *sigh*


Mon May 07, 2007 8:00 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:43 pm
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Location: Nordeast Minneapolis
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Does this mean 5 in 100 can not only hook me up with opiates but they can also sell me some cream to stop the burning???


Tue May 08, 2007 10:46 am
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