Finding Truth: National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Posted on January 22, 2019 by kerri
National Drugs and Alcohol Facts Week aims to connect students with scientists in the areas of drug, alcohol and addiction research to answer questions to prevent misuse of alcohol and drugs through education, aiming to provide a reputable source of information for teens. [1]
Image from MentalHelp
To stick with the theme, here are just some facts on drugs and alcohol.
  • After alcohol, the most commonly used and abused drug is cannabis (marijuana). [2] However, cannabis has a lower rate of developing addiction than both nicotine and alcohol, at about 10-20%. [3]
    • As legalization of cannabis does not necessarily lead to increased use [4], this theoretically would infer that legalization does not lead to increased risk of addiction, especially as rates are low.
  • About 8% of Americans 12 and older had used an illicit drug in the past 30 days, including cannabis, cocaine/crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription drugs not prescribed for the user, according to a survey. [5]
  • “Heavy drinkers” are more likely to use illegal drugs than those who don’t drink; youth who drink are 7.5 times more likely—nearly a third of heavy drinkers over age 12 were also illegal drug users. [6] In the US, 6.6% of the population over age 12 (calculated to 16 million people) reported heavy drinking—defined as “binge drinking on at least five of the past thirty days). [6]
  • While psychedelics aren’t legal, research surrounding the positive effects of LSD “micro-dosing” is ongoing—using really, really, really small doses of LSD to gain its positive effects. James Fadiman is one researcher in this field… who even continued researching this during a 40 year span when that research was illegal! [7] To learn more about Jim’s research and LSD microdosing in a really approachable way, check out episode 44 of the podcast Reply All, “Shine On You Crazy Goldman.”
  • For users, there can be positive and negative effects to drug use—including easier ability to socialize, relax, or feel energized… as well as physical, social, legal and financial consequences. [8]
  • Drug users may consider a medical ID bracelet. For example, being easily identify a potential overdose as opposed to other medical problems can help bystanders administer drugs like naloxone/Narcan more quickly to reverse the effects of an overdose.
  • Awareness jewelry can help start important conversations about drug and alcohol abuse—the red ribbon is the awareness color for substance abuse. View our red ribbon awareness jewelry.
If you struggle with alcohol or drug use, help is available. In the USA, call 844-244-3171 for the Addiction and Alcohol Line, or visit drughealpline.org for more information. In Canada, regional helpline numbers can be found through the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. For peer support for alcohol misuse in both Canada and the US. visit Alcoholics Anonymous at aa.org—worldwide AA listings can be found here.

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