A new report by The Problem of Drug Addiction has revealed the alarming extent of drug addiction in the U.S. and has become a national public health crisis.
According to the report, more than 1.5 million Americans will die from drug overdoses this year, with the numbers reaching 2 million by 2025.
The report, titled The Problem with Drug Addiction: How it’s Changing the Nation’s Health, was released Thursday by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Drug Policy Alliance.
It’s the first time that The Problem has been released since its inception in 2010.
The report states that in the last 30 years, the prevalence of addiction in America has risen from 12 percent to almost 20 percent, with more than 5 million Americans over the age of 21 reporting an addiction to alcohol.
The Center for the Study of Drug Use and Alcohol, a Washington, D.C.-based research group, is also responsible for the report.
“It’s one of those things that you’re not even aware of how many people are addicted to alcohol, you’re just not,” the report’s author, Dr. Michael R. Faraone, told Newsweek.
“It’s a problem that’s been around for a long time.
But the way we’re seeing it, is that people are just being told to put their hands on their heads and let the problem go.”
Dr. Farrage pointed to a 2011 study in which he and his colleagues, including the author of the study, surveyed over 10,000 people in the United States and found that only 6 percent of respondents were using drugs at least once a day, a figure that has only increased over the last two years.
“I think that’s a real concern,” Farrager said.
“We’re not talking about people in their mid-20s or even their 40s or 50s, who are drug addicts.
We’re talking about the people that are older, who have more years of education and experience and have been educated about how to manage their addiction.”
According to the Center’s report, the numbers are much higher for African Americans.
African Americans are more likely to report having an addiction than their white counterparts, and more than one-third of African Americans over age 55 are currently addicted to drugs, according to the research.
“People of color are particularly at risk for developing an addiction,” Faraon told Newsweek, “because they are more often the people in communities where the use of alcohol is particularly prevalent, where drug use is a pervasive problem, where there is a lot of drug use, and they’re also the ones that tend to live in places that are less likely to have access to the kinds of resources that might be available to them.”
The Center’s analysis of data from the U and U-19 age groups shows that nearly half of African American children who are under the age, 20, are already addicted to illicit drugs, and nearly half are also current drug users, with a similar number reporting an increase in use over the past two years as those under the ages of 20.
“There is an epidemic in this country, and we have to address it,” Farlone said.