Alcohol continues to be the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth. Recognizing the power of community to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of underage alcohol use and mobilize local action to prevent underage drinking, SAMHSA supports the Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking initiative. This round of Communities Talk events will launch in January 2019.
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SAMHSA Joins with Entertainers Torrey and Liberty DeVitto to Emphasize the Dangers of Underage Drinking and Substance Use
During adolescence, young people have new life experiences and enjoy greater freedom but are also exposed to peer pressure. One result of peer pressure is that many teens experiment with alcohol and other substances. According to SAMHSA’s 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 7.4 million people ages 12 to 20 reported consuming alcohol in the past month. The data also found that – in addition to alcohol – marijuana, prescription pain relievers and cigarettes were the next three substances used most frequently by youth trying a substance for the first time.
Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that an estimated 6.0 million Americans aged 12 or older misused psychotherapeutic drugs (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) at least once in the past month.
Prescription drug misuse continues to be a major public health problem in the United States, specifically prescription pain relievers. Misuse of prescription pain relievers represents the second most common type of illicit drug use. Prescription drug misuse is use of a drug in any way not directed by a doctor or other prescriber. This includes:
One hundred fifteen Americans die every day from opioid overdose. Whether a person deliberately misuses a prescription opioid or uses an illicit drug such as heroin, these deaths are all preventable. It’s up to us—emergency medical personnel, healthcare professionals, and community members who witness and respond to overdoses—to learn what we can do to prevent opioid misuse.
Since 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued more than $1 billion in grants to support access to opioid-related treatment, prevention and recovery. We have also published resources to support prevention and treatment providers.
HIV.gov readers know that getting people in your community tested and into care is an essential part of addressing the HIV epidemic. For program managers, it’s an ongoing job that requires a broad array of tools, knowledge, and skills. But wait, clients may want to confidentially learn about services when your organization is closed.
HIV.gov provides the HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator as a tool to help you serve your audience at all hours. With its location-based information, your site visitors can search at any time for federally funded testing services, housing providers, health centers, and other service providers.
Prevention & Treatment
I often found that my psychiatric practice’s patients diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder or another mental illness also were living with untreated drug or alcohol problems.
The presence of both substance abuse and mental illness is known as a co-occurring disorder. Left untreated, this condition poses a serious threat to an individual’s quality of life, including increased risk of family problems, frequent drug relapse, numerous hospitalizations, unemployment, homelessness, serious physical illness and death.