Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Survey Finds Millions of New U.S. Drug Abusers
Reuters ^ | September 5, 2003 | Maggie Fox

Posted on 09/05/2003 12:44:51 PM PDT by AntiGuv

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A redesigned survey of who uses and abuses drugs in the United States has found millions of "missed" users and addicts, with an estimated 22 million Americans suffering from alcohol or drug abuse.

The study, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on Friday, finds that 19.5 million Americans used illicit drugs in 2002. This works out to 8.3 percent of the population age 12 or older.

Last year's survey found that 15.9 million Americans used an illegal drug in 2001 -- but SAMHSA stressed that the latest survey used new methods and turned up many hidden drug users.

"The 2002 data are simply not comparable with data from previous surveys," the report reads.

"We know that for a number of years we've undercounted," John Walters, director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, told a news conference.

The new survey of more than 68,000 people was taken using stricter questioning methods and included a $30 incentive payment, which SAMHSA said resulted in more people agreeing to be surveyed while not affecting the truth of their answers.

The payment may have made it more likely that people "on the edge" -- younger people and potential drug users -- would agree to be interviewed in the first place, a spokesman for Walters' office said.

The survey found that marijuana remains the most widely used illegal drug, with an estimated 14.6 million users in the past month.

"In 2002, an estimated 2 million persons were current cocaine users," the report adds. Of these, 567,000 used crack. Hallucinogens such as Ecstasy were used by 1.2 million.

BINGE DRINKING

The report found that 54 million people, based on survey projections, would have been binge drinkers in the previous month -- defined as five or more drinks on the same occasion.

Nearly 16 million were heavy drinkers, downing five or more drinks a day for at least five days in the past month.

"The report highlights that 7.7 million people, 3.3 percent of the total population ages 12 and older, needed treatment for a diagnosable drug problem and 18.6 million, 7.9 percent of the population, needed treatment for a serious alcohol problem," the agency said in a statement.

But drug and alcohol abusers are not getting the help they need, the report added.

"Only 1.4 million received specialized substance abuse treatment for an illicit drug problem and 1.5 million received treatment for alcohol problems," it reads.

Part of this is because drug and alcohol addicts often do not recognize that they have a problem, the report said. "Over 94 percent of people with substance use disorders who did not receive treatment did not believe they needed treatment," the report reads.

The report also measures tobacco use and found that 71.5 million Americans used tobacco in 2002 -- about 30 percent of the population. Of these, 26 percent or 61 million smoked cigarettes -- much higher than the current CDC estimate of 46 million.

On Thursday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 8.6 million Americans have smoking-related illnesses such as bronchitis or emphysema.

The report also for the first time includes information on mental illness linked with substance abuse.

"Among adults with substance dependence or abuse, 20.4 percent had serious mental illness," SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie told the news conference.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: addiction; alcohol; drugabuse; drugs; drugskill; drugskilledjanis; gowodgo; loserdopianbilge; ozzysaypotbad; poison; wod; wodlist

1 posted on 09/05/2003 12:44:52 PM PDT by AntiGuv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
"We know that for a number of years we've undercounted,"

Gee, I doubt that was accidental.
2 posted on 09/05/2003 12:46:57 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (More Americans 18-49 Watch The Cartoon Network than CNN!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
The success of the federalis war on drugs is a good indicator for the succes we can imagine in the federalis war on terrorism.
3 posted on 09/05/2003 12:47:19 PM PDT by JohnGalt (Vichycons-- Supporting Endless War Abroad; Appeasing the Welfare State at Home, Since 2001)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
For your WOSD list.....
4 posted on 09/05/2003 12:47:26 PM PDT by CSM ("We have been assigned to the hall of Freep. No other work is allowed" - Equality 7-2521)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JohnGalt
To paraphrase Fight Club, "I am Jack's complete and total lack of suprise."
5 posted on 09/05/2003 12:50:38 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (For an Evil Super Genius, you aren't too bright are you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
Survey Finds Millions of New U.S. Drug Abusers

They were holed up in a crack house in Detroit.

6 posted on 09/05/2003 12:51:01 PM PDT by Pest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv

Part of this is because drug and alcohol addicts often do not recognize that they have a problem, the report said. "Over 94 percent of people with substance use disorders who did not receive treatment did not believe they needed treatment," the report reads.

Or maybe they really don't have a problem. Or, is a user necessarily an addict?

7 posted on 09/05/2003 12:51:18 PM PDT by JmyBryan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JmyBryan
My impulse was to alter the title from the loaded "abuser" to the more accurate "user" - but I decided to adhere to my rule of posting threads without prejudgment..
8 posted on 09/05/2003 12:54:25 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
We need to tax crack. Instant revenue, Baby!
9 posted on 09/05/2003 12:57:14 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (More Americans 18-49 Watch The Cartoon Network than CNN!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: .cnI redruM
Of course, obesity rights advocates might misconstrue my entire crack tax suggestion.....
10 posted on 09/05/2003 12:58:11 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (More Americans 18-49 Watch The Cartoon Network than CNN!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pest
They were holed up in a crack house in Detroit.

No doubt waiting for the libertarian party to come to power.

11 posted on 09/05/2003 1:02:24 PM PDT by A2J
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: CSM; *Wod_list; jmc813
Thanks!
12 posted on 09/05/2003 1:06:05 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; Bill D. Berger; ..
WOD Ping
13 posted on 09/05/2003 1:13:05 PM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: A2J
Cute keywords you added there.
14 posted on 09/05/2003 1:14:16 PM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
BTW, thanks for going easy on me about the Jets today and congrats on Milloy.
15 posted on 09/05/2003 1:14:53 PM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: jmc813; MrLeRoy
Please add me to the WOSD lists, I don't seem to get the pings.
16 posted on 09/05/2003 1:15:12 PM PDT by CSM ("We have been assigned to the hall of Freep. No other work is allowed" - Equality 7-2521)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
Reuters needs to pay more attention to it's own backyard -Europe.
17 posted on 09/05/2003 1:15:15 PM PDT by SolutionsOnly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CSM; MrLeRoy
Please add me to the WOSD lists

There's only one "ping list" and I'd be happy to add you to it. There's also a bump topic you can go to at your leisure to review WOD threads. Mr. L, could you throw him the link for that?

18 posted on 09/05/2003 1:19:08 PM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: JmyBryan
Ding! Correct. Out of about 20 million user of illegal drugs, 75% were pot smokers. 10% tooted coke, and about 5% did Ecstacy. While there is some overlap in those number, that leaves really hazardous drug taking, like needle drugs and crack, as a pursuit of those that are generally undeterred by any laws.

In other words, the War on (some) Drugs is money we might as well have put in a big pile and set on fire.
19 posted on 09/05/2003 1:22:12 PM PDT by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: jmc813
BTW, thanks for going easy on me about the Jets today

Can't rag on you till I see how the Bills do.

and congrats on Milloy.

Thanks! Didn't know about that till you told me. Donahoe is the goods.

20 posted on 09/05/2003 1:23:18 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: CSM; jmc813
Read the Wod_list at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/involved?group=124 .
21 posted on 09/05/2003 1:24:24 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: eno_
the War on (some) Drugs is money we might as well have put in a big pile and set on fire.

It's kept a lot of Drug Warriors employed.

22 posted on 09/05/2003 1:26:03 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
Thanks! Didn't know about that till you told me.

The Bills-Pats game on Sunday is going to be VERY interesting.

23 posted on 09/05/2003 1:33:17 PM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
More than 14.6 million Americans smoked pot within the last month?!?!

There oughta be a law.

24 posted on 09/05/2003 1:36:41 PM PDT by dead (Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
"We know that for a number of years we've undercounted," John Walters...

Wasn't he the technical advisor for Reefer Madness?

25 posted on 09/05/2003 1:50:18 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: dead
More than 14.6 million Americans smoked pot within the last month?!?!

Hey, I did my part!

26 posted on 09/05/2003 2:31:32 PM PDT by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
"...It's kept a lot of Drug Warriors employed..."

And also way too well armed.........FRegards

27 posted on 09/05/2003 2:32:49 PM PDT by gonzo ( I'm still tryin' to figger-out how much I can get away with and still get into Heaven......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
"finds that 19.5 million Americans used illicit drugs in 2002"

"The report highlights that 7.7 million people ... needed treatment for a diagnosable drug problem."

If by "diagnosable drug problem" they mean addiction, then we're looking at a 40% addiction rate.

Thoughts?

28 posted on 09/05/2003 3:22:06 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
Well that number pins the Bogosity Meter. Pot is not addictive.

In general, the article suffers from selectively mixing alcohol numbers into drug numbers, or not, as the whim strikes the authors. The numbers for "heavy drinkers" comports with the established fact that 80-90% of addiction and misery related to drug-taking is alcoholism. The only people in "treatment" for pot are there under court order, which makes that treatment court-ordered quackery.

And, of course, there are no numbers for the real hard cases of glue-sniffers and gasoline-huffers. That's because interdiction is impossible, and we wouldn't want to be admitting it's the addict, not the drug.
29 posted on 09/05/2003 3:49:27 PM PDT by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
Good to see the drug war going according to plan.
30 posted on 09/05/2003 5:38:45 PM PDT by toothless
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
SAMSHA's previous figures counted 17% of all Americans over 65 as having a substance abuse problem involving prescription drugs, either directly or in combination with alcohol. The absence of accounting for those figures means any conclusions drawn about illicit drug use from this article are suspect at best.
31 posted on 09/06/2003 5:45:28 AM PDT by tacticalogic (Controlled application of force is the sincerest form of communication.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
"finds that 19.5 million Americans used illicit drugs in 2002"

"The report highlights that 7.7 million people ... needed treatment for a diagnosable drug problem."

If by "diagnosable drug problem" they mean addiction, then we're looking at a 40% addiction rate.

Thoughts?

Bogus calculation. Every year some people take up using and some users quit, while addicts by definition are much less likely to quit, so dividing current addiction by current use is meaningless.

32 posted on 09/08/2003 7:03:41 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv
The number of homeless people is on the rise.
Drug use is reaching epidemic proportions.

Must be a Bushes fault. Because none of these problems existed when Clinton was in office.
33 posted on 09/08/2003 7:27:46 AM PDT by TomHarkinIsNotFromIowa (Foe Hammer!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
"so dividing current addiction by current use is meaningless."

Well, not meaningless. It just says that if you take a snapshot of drug users, 40% of them are addicts.

Nice crowd with which to be associated.

34 posted on 09/08/2003 7:34:00 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: jmc813
The Bills-Pats game on Sunday is going to be VERY interesting.

That it was. Bills are looking mighty good.

(I can't dump on the Jets for sucking without their #1 QB, just like I couldn't dump on the Dollfans after they lost Marino in '93.)

35 posted on 09/08/2003 8:10:16 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
if you take a snapshot of drug users, 40% of them are addicts.

Nice crowd with which to be associated.

So don't associate with addicts---of illegal drugs or alcohol.

36 posted on 09/08/2003 8:11:22 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
just like I couldn't dump on the Dollfans after they lost Marino in '93

But I think we can both dump on them for losing to the TEXANS! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

37 posted on 09/08/2003 8:19:02 AM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: jmc813
Sweet.

That leaves the Bills on top of the AFC East, doesn't it? (I keep forgetting the Colts are no longer in the division.)
38 posted on 09/08/2003 8:51:54 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson