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22 Million Americans Suffer from Substance Dependence

The survey found 19.5 million Americans were using illicit drugs, 54 million had participated in binge drinking in the previous 30 days, and 15.9 million were heavy drinkers. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, with a rate of 6.2 percent. Of the 14.6 million past month marijuana users in 2002, about one third, or 4.8 million persons, used it on 20 or more days in the past month. An estimated 2.0 million persons (0.9 percent) were current cocaine users, 567,000 of whom used crack. Hallucinogens were used by 1.2 million persons, including 676,000 users of Ecstasy. There were an estimated 166,000 current heroin users.

The survey suggests 7.7 million people needed treatment for a diagnosable drug problem while only 1.4 million received treatment, and 18.6 million needed treatment for a serious alcohol problem while only 1.5 million received treatment.

However, more than 94 percent of those who did not receive treatment did not believe they needed it. John Walters, director of national drug control policy for the White House, said, "People need to understand the addictive nature of drugs and not presume that they are 'all right' when everyone around them knows better.", Source: AHA News Now


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