From our archives: Previous articles that have some relevance today
Original date: 05/2008
Recent data analysis from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health finds two major trends in substance use patterns during the first twelve months after an individual tries a drug. In most cases, over 50 percent of individuals stop using a substance within a year of his or her first experience with it. The exceptions are alcohol and marijuana, which show a continued use pattern.
Heroin and crack cocaine show the highest dependency rates. However, these drugs also show the highest rates of nonuse within a year after first trying the drug. This indicates that, although only a fraction of individuals continue to use heroin and crack cocaine, they do risk a bigger chance of becoming dependent upon these substances.
Treatment plans for substance abuse are part of a comprehensive drug-free workplace programs that Working Partners will help research and implement in your organization.
A 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 14 percent of U.S. residents (35 million people) reported using prescription pain relievers in a non-medical fashion at least once in their lifetime, proving the importance of drug training in the workplace. The most commonly reported were hydrocodone, codeine/propoxyphene and oxycodone. Some of the others included morphine, Demorol, tramadol and Dilaudid.
Similarly, data compiled by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reports that emergency room visits related to abuse or misuse of pharmaceuticals almost doubled from 2004 to 2009. Approximately 630,000 pharmaceutical-related emergency room visits were reported in 2004, but by 2009 that number had increased to an eye-popping 1.2 million.
Gill Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), comments on the DAWN findings, “Prescription drug abuse is our nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, with shocking consequences measured by overdose deaths, emergency room visits, treatment admissions, and increases in youth drug use.”
Contact Working Partners to learn more about drug training in the workplace to prevent drug abuse and overdoses.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released an analysis of government data that shows most underage drinkers obtain alcohol from home. The review included data obtained from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2006 through 2009. Of the 709,000 teens who reported teen drinking during the period, almost 30 percent were given alcohol by a parent or guardian, with almost another 16 percent getting it from home. Only 13.5 percent obtained it from an unrelated adult and around 20 percent used another underage teen as their source.
On a related note, research on the outcomes of teens who drink with adult supervision illustrates that those who imbibe with the blessing of adults have more alcohol-related problems than their counterparts. The report, focused on teens in the United States and Australia, uncovered that by ninth grade over 70 percent of Aussie teens and 45 percent of U.S. teens had used alcohol. Of those polled, 36 percent of the Australian teens and 21 percent of the U.S. participants had experienced alcohol-related problems. This study goes a long way to dispel the myth that supervised teen drinking can shield teens from the consequences of alcohol abuse.
To help parents communicate more effectively with teens, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) introduced a handbook in conjunction with its “Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence” campaign (www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/).
Teen drinking and alcohol abuse in general can have a negative impact on the workplace. Businesses whose employees abuse alcohol and other drugs pay 300-400 percent more in medical claims and benefits usage. Working Partners can help your business keep employees from abusing drugs and alcohol and costing you money and resources.