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Substance Abuse in United State


Substance abuse is a pandemic in the United States. From the abuse of seemingly innocent substances such as marijuana and alcohol to the abuse of street drugs like cocaine and heroin, substance abuse costs individuals substantially, and it costs the nation as a whole. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

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  • Illicit drug use costs the United States approximately $181 billion annually.
  • Excessive alcohol use costs the country approximately $235 billion annually.

It’s not surprising that substance abuse comes with such a high price tag when you consider all the health, legal, criminal, and personal issues that often come in its wake.

In 2012, nearly 24 million Americans, age 12 and older, had abused an illicit drug, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Marijuana is still the most frequently abused drug, with more than 20 million Americans citing use of marijuana within the prior 30 days, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), and more than 8 million people admitting to using marijuana on a near daily basis.

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