Substance use disorder is not limited to alcohol.
Addiction costs the economy $190 billion annually.
Alcohol may be the most commonly used substance, but the second most commonly used substance is marijuana, followed by cocaine. Other substances, such as heroin, marijuana, and prescription drugs have severe health outcomes for people. Currently, over 2 million people are suffering from opioid addiction, causing a record number of overdose deaths each year.
Short-term side effects of drug use include memory loss, anxiety, nausea, and mental disturbances. The long-term effects are serious and have far-reaching social consequences as well as individual health outcomes.
Some people use substances casually, but others struggle with the unhealthy patterns of cravings, withdrawal, and binges. Addiction is distinct from casual substance use because it includes a physical and mental element: the body is affected as much as the mind. The consequences of substance use disorder are severe, chronic, and sometimes untreatable.
- HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C
- Medical complications and recurring health issues
- Compromised fetal health, for women who use during pregnancy
- Death due to overdose
Drug use affects not just the person using the substance, but the community around them as well.
- $130 billion in lost productivity
- $40 billion in legal costs, including drug courts, incarceration, and criminal justice
- $20 billion in legal costs, including drug courts, incarceration, and criminal justice