The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that an estimated 1.3 million adolescents ages 12-17 years old had a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2014, with youth transitioning into adulthood having some of the highest rates of alcohol and substance abuse. When we talk about addiction, there’s no doubt that our adolescents are at incredibly high risks – and the more preventative measures we can take, along with recovery interventions to seek out when our teens need it – we’ll hopefully be able to reduce some of these numbers. It’s not just youth that are susceptible to the disease of addiction, however.
Due to America’s drinking culture, adult populations often have difficulty recognizing the difference between recreational use and substance use disorder (SUD). All too often, we’re in denial or we view substance use as a “common” occurrence amongst our social groups, which makes it even more difficult to seek the help we really need. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) does highlight gender differences that occur amongst adults who are susceptible to addiction, and here are some of the facts:
- Women are just as likely as men to develop a SUD
- Women are more susceptible to cravings and relapse than men are
- Men are more likely than women to use almost all types of illicit drugs
- Men are more likely to experience emergency room visits and overdose deaths than women when it comes to illicit drug use
A 2014 study published in the journal Clinics in Geriatric Medicine noted that Baby Boomers – who became of age during the 1960s and 1970s – also experience high rates of SUDs and are expected to grow substantially, despite the fact that they’re a highly underestimated population when it comes to suspected addiction rates. As a whole, it seems that there are a number of life stages that bring about heightened risk for addiction – which is why, at any age, we need to surround ourselves with resources and support to protect ourselves from – and increase our chances of recovery from – addiction.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.