Keep Learning: 12 Things You Might Not Know About Addiction-Related DangersMicah Robbins
It’s September, and education is on everyone’s mind. Just because you’re no longer in school doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take every opportunity to increase your knowledge—especially about topics related to recovery and sober living.
12 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ADDICTION-RELATED DANGERS
- More fatal overdoses are caused by prescription drugs than by cocaine and heroin combined.
- Many prescription drugs are listed as controlled substances—and many illegal controlled substances started as widely prescribed drugs.
- Marijuana is recognized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a substance capable of causing addiction disorder. Typical withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, irritability, anxiety and loss of appetite.
- People who regularly smoke marijuana as teenagers are more likely to have memory problems as adults—even if they no longer smoke habitually.
- The hallucinatory ingredient THC is many times more potent today than when it was first used in marijuana.
- Up to 32% of American adolescents take their first taste of alcohol before starting high school.
- The average person arrested for driving under the influence has already done it dozens of times without getting caught.
- 27,000 “drunk miles” are driven for every DUI arrest. Most people who commit the offense are unaware, or in denial, that they are impaired.
- Factoring in all known costs, including workplace delinquency, medical emergencies, law enforcement and traffic accidents, substance abuse wastes over $480 billion of American money each year.
- Most drug users have jobs, and employment-related issues account for over $80 billion of annual financial waste. Drug addiction, and even occasional overuse, are major causes of impaired job functioning and of illness leading to absenteeism.
- Forty percent of violent-crime convictions involve an offender who was drunk.
- The majority of acquaintance-rape victims are under the influence during the assault. Whether or not overt resistance was involved, sexual activity is legally nonconsensual—and therefore criminal—if practiced on someone too impaired to judge the situation.
The original 12 Steps organization still provides extensive information on support groups, substance abuse and sobriety tips.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Research and advocacy organization for preventing suicide and assisting survivors. Online News library includes addiction articles.
Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience
Based in Houston, Baylor is a leading health sciences university known for applying “science and discoveries to further education, healthcare and community service locally and globally.” It has healthcare clinics for over 100 specialties, including mental disorders.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Government department organized to “advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.” Website includes a comprehensive library of commonly abused drugs.
New York Times, Drug Abuse and Traffic page
The latest news and commentary on addiction-related issues.
An association of addiction-treatment experts dedicated to helping people find help for dependence. The website features a search engine for locating rehab centers, a page of additional-resource links, and a blog of current news.
A leading nonprofit institute “delivering the promise of science for global good,” RTI provides worldwide research and technical services. Its studies on illegal drugs and misused prescriptions date back over 30 years, and it is a regular collaborator with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on conducting drug-use surveys.
Website of up-to-date news articles on scientific research of all sorts. This page includes a subscription link for a daily Addiction News email.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)
Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Website includes an online publications store, a library of information on substance addictions and other mental illnesses, and numbers for suicide-prevention and other helplines.
U.S. News & World Report, Drug Abuse page
One of the country’s top news sources reports on the latest drug laws, discoveries and expert tips for dealing with risks.
WebMD Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center
WebMD ranks among the top online sources for up-to-date health and medical news.