Substance Use and Addiction

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President’s blog: Substance use and addiction

In the U.S. more than 20 million people over the age of 12 suffer from a substance use disorder.

In the United States, more than 20 million people over the age of 12 suffer from a substance use disorder. Their addictions are to alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs or, increasingly, to prescription drugs—the very medications that at one time were ordered to help improve—rather than risk—their health.

  • While 3 million Americans were treated last year for addiction, the vast majority of people battling these disorders did not seek—or, in fact, actively resisted —treatment.
  • 100 people—including teenagers and otherwise reasonably healthy adults— die every single day of drug overdoses; this is a rate that has tripled in the past 20 years.
  • More than 90% of those with addictions began smoking, drinking or using illegal drugs before the age of 18.

At The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, we work with dozens of agencies and clinics combating this problem and every year we graduate hundreds of professionals who are ready to tackle the issue head on. But it’s not enough. We need you to be aware of the telltale symptoms of addiction and to be willing to address them if and when you see them in friends, loved ones or even yourself.

Remember, life is short.  Let’s each do our part to make it the best we can, for ourselves and for those around us.

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