Drug abuse has continued to be a real problem in this country for decades now. In the eighties, drug use was a little higher. In the nineties, it fell a little bit. Today it may be down from the seventies but it is still happening often. It is hard to find information on 2009 statistics but, in 2005 forty-five percent of people from the age of 12 and older, had used an illicit drug or prescription drug for non medical use. Forty percent of that same age group used marijuana or Hashish for non medical use. Cigarettes may be legal but are still considered a drug, because of the nicotine. They are smoked by over sixty-four percent of people twelve years and older as of 2005. There are many people who are using over the counter or prescribed drugs for non medical use as well.
Over the last few years, there has been an increase in studies of drug use in female teens. It turns out that just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you don’t party like the guys. Yes, nine percent of young females, ages 12 to 17, report the use of illicit drugs and ten percent of their male peers report use. It looks like age 16 and 17 has the highest reporting of drug use in that age group. Fewer use with the younger ages. When asked to report on how easy it was to get drugs the young replied that LSD, cocaine, heroin and crack were fairly easy or very easy to get. Same goes for marijuana. That was also an easy drug to get. Drugs and alcohol use is one of the main reasons that teens are involved with accidents that involve injury or death. The top causes of death among people between 10 and 24 years old are motor vehicle crashes, homicide, suicide and unintentional accidents. Drug and or alcohol use can lead anyone, including teens, into behaviors that have tragic outcomes.
There are over 12 million households in this country that are using illicit drugs with children around today. There are more than one million children who show up as victims of child abuse due to drug and alcohol abuse each year. Every day there are at least three children who die from abuse and neglect because of substance abuse. Substance abuse is one of the top reasons for major problems in families today. This comes from 81 percent of a 100 polled during reported cases with states child welfare records. There is a direct connection between drug and alcohol abuse and child abuse. Forty percent of confirmed child abuse cases involved drugs or alcohol.