Young adults abusing prescription drugs continues to be a major concern among health care experts due to the ease of acquisition. However, abuse rates among adults ages 18 to 25 were significantly lower last year than in 2009, 6.4 percent of young adults used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in 2009, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Fortunately, drunk driving is down, the report showed that 11.2 percent of Americans drove under the influence of alcohol at least once last year; compared with 11.1 percent in 2011 and 14.2 percent in 2002.
SAMHSA found that 9 percent of the population, 23.9 million Americans, 12 years and older used drugs in the previous month.Marijuana is still the most commonly used drug, with 7.3 percent of Americans saying they are current users. People ages 12 and older who used heroin in the past year increased from 373,000 in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012 - almost double.
“These findings show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. “These statistics represent real people, families and communities dealing with the devastating consequences of abuse and addiction. We must strive to prevent further abuse and provide the hope of treatment and recovery to all people needing help.”
The report was released in conjunction with the 24th annual National Recovery Month.