National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

The last week in January is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week! Here are some drug and alcohol facts! 

Facts About Drug Abuse

  • Addiction is a chronic disease that causes the user to use drugs compulsively without thinking of the potential consequences. 
  • Drugs affect the user’s “reward circuit” which controls the body’s ability to feel pleasure and motivates the used to repeat the behavior in order to survive. 
  • The long-term effects of drugs abuse cause changes in
    • Learning
    • Judgement 
    • Decision-Making
    • Stress
    • Memory
    • Behavior
  • Some people may have a higher risk of abusing drugs because of their 
    • Biology 
    • Environment
    • Development
  • Prevention programs that involve families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for reducing drug abuse and adduction. 

For more information, go to

Information courtesy of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse

Facts About Opioid Addiction

  • Opioids Include 
    • Heroin
    • Prescription Pain Relievers Like
      • Oxycodone
      • Hydrocodone
      • Codeine
      • Morphine
      • Fentanyl 
  • Opioids interact with the opioid receptors on the brain and nervous systems to cause pleasurable effects and pain relief. 
  • In 2015, 2 million people had a substance abuse disorder involving pain relievers and 591,000 were abusing heroin. 
  • In 2015, 20,101 people died from prescription pain reliever abuse and 12,990 people died of heroin abuse. 
  • In 2012, 259 million opioid prescriptions were written, which was enough to give every American their own bottle of pills. 

For more information, go to

Information courtesy of the American Society of Addiction Medicine

Facts About Alcohol Abuse

  • In the US, alcohol is the most commonly abused substance. 
    • 1 in every 12 adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. 
  • Annually, 88,000 people die from excessive alcohol use. 
  • In the US, alcohol is the 3rd leading cause of lifestyle-related death. 
  • Up to 40% of the hospital beds in the United States besides the maternity ward and ICU are occupied by patients receiving treatments for a health conditions related to alcohol consumption. 
  • Excessive alcohol use either from heavy drinking or binge drinking can cause
    • Dementia
    • Stroke
    • Neuropathy
    • Cardiovascular Problems Including
      • Myocardial Infarction
      • Cardiomyopathy
      • Atrial Fibrillation
      •  Hypertension
    • Psychiatric Problems Including
      • Depression 
      • Anxiety
      • Suicide
    • Social Problems Including 
      • Unemployment
      • Lost Productivity
      • Family Violence
      • Children Maltreatment
      • Fights
      • Homicide
    • Unintended Injuries Including
      • Car Accidents
      • Falls 
      • Drownings
      • Burns
      • Firearm Injuries
    • Increased Risk of Cancer In
      • Liver 
      • Mouth
      • Throat 
      • Larynx
      • Esophagus
    • Liver Diseases Including
      • Fatty Liver
      • Alcoholic Hepatitis 
      • Cirrhosis
    • Gastrointestinal Problems Including
      • Pancreatitis
      • Gastritis
    • Alcoholism

For more information, go to

Information courtesy of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence