Americans Have Frequently Overcome Substance Abuse

When we think of the situation of substance abuse in the United States, it is frequently one of complete despair. We often hear about the spread of the opioid epidemic, and the rising numbers of addiction that we see in our society. However, the good news for those with addiction is that they aren’t alone in their struggle, and that there are plenty who have moved on from substance abuse. One particular new poll by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services in New York found that a shocking 10% of American adults had beaten a problem with alcohol or illicit drugs (on top of that, 1 in 3 American adults had quit smoking, successfully).

Provides hope to those who struggle

These numbers should provide a great deal of hope to those who currently struggle with substance abuse. While it is easy to get caught up in our personal situations, which might feel bleak, it is important to remember that there are others who have climbed this mountain before us. If so many others can beat substance abuse, then surely we can, as well.

The shocking numbers who did it without treatment

When one breaks down the numbers, we begin to see how many people have beaten addiction in their lives. For example, about .6% of adults in the United States reported suffering from addiction in 2007. However, in that same study, nearly 3% of American adults reported having addiction in their lives, but not currently. By comparing these numbers, we see that well over 3 times the number of people have beaten addiction than are currently addicted.

Even when it comes to very severe and addictive substances, such as heroin, the numbers are more optimistic than you might think. One study on vets showed that only 1% of those who tried heroin had long term addictions. However, it is also important to see that most individuals do not develop a chronic disorder, and how that changes things.

Treatment is still needed, in many cases

Although these numbers are heartening, it’s important to note that there are still plenty of cases that necessitate treatment. Many substances that have a physical dependency associated with them can be dangerous for those who try to quit, and even lethal (indeed, this is how many overdoses occur). If anything, this information shows us that the numbers of those who quit substance abuse make it even more possible for those who are currently undergoing recovery treatment.