You may not know it, but National Prevention Week is here—a time to encourage one another to stand strong in our commitment against substance use. This is a tall order: After all, for as common as substance use disorders are, they remain mired in stigma. Because so many of us are so uncomfortable talking openly about substance use disorders, there remain many myths and misconceptions about what substance use disorders are and how they can be addressed.
To help start the conversation and break past some of that stigma, here are a few fast facts—some things you might not know about substance use disorders.
- Substance use is incredibly common; according to some estimates, there are more than 24 million Americans who have recently used illicit drugs.
- Far and away the most commonly abused substance? Alcohol.
- The fastest-growing drug problem in America isn’t one involving illegal drugs, but rather prescription painkillers.
- More than half of all drug overdose deaths are from prescription painkillers.
- Substance use disorders are equal opportunity offenders; they can impact young people as well as the elderly, men and women, people from all walks of life.
- Substance use disorders are true mental illnesses, and can be mapped using brain scans just as surely as depression and anxiety can.
- Most drugs work by stimulating different parts of the brain, which can lead to significant imbalances in how your brain functions.
- Substance use disorders don’t just have a negative mental impact, but also a negative physical, financial, legal, professional, and relational impact!
- Recovery for substance use disorders is not a one-and-done thing, but rather is a lifelong process.
- Recovery is always possible, no matter how dire you think your addiction is!
Pursue the hope of recovery by contacting us about treatment options today.How will you help eliminate the stigma surrounding addiction? Tell us!