Ten Percent of Adults Have a Drug-Use Disorder in Their Lifetime

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About 10% of American adults have had a drug-use disorder at some point in their lives, while 4% of Americans currently have one, according to a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Bridget Grant, PhD, of the NIAAA Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, and colleagues came to these conclusions based on the NIAAA’s National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III). The report found that drug abuse was more common among men, whites and Native Americans, and those who are single, as well as those who are younger and those with lower income and education levels. More than 36,000 people were evaluated.

The DSM-5 scrapped the use of the terms abuse and dependence in favor of a single disorder rated by severity (mild, moderate, and severe) based on the number of symptoms meet. A person is considered to have a drug-use disorder if they met two of 11 symptoms.

People with drug use disorder were much more likely to have psychiatric illnesses, the researchers reported in JAMA Psychiatry, as they were 1.3 times as likely to experience clinical depression, 1.6 times as likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder, and 1.8 times as likely to have borderline personality disorder, when compared to people without drug abuse. Drug-use disorder was also linked to both alcohol and nicotine use disorder, with a three-fold increase in risk. 

The study also found that most people with drug abuse issues never receive treatment. About 14 percent in the past year and about 25 percent who had ever had a substance-use disorder received care.

Teens with anxiety or sleep medication prescriptions are more likely to abuse them.
About 4% of Americans are currently battling a substance-use disorder.

A survey of American adults revealed that drug-use disorder is common, co-occurs with a range of mental health disorders and often goes untreated. The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that about 4% of Americans met the criteria for drug use disorder in the past year and about 10 percent have had drug use disorder at some time in their lives.

A diagnosis of drug-use disorder is based on a list of symptoms including craving, withdrawal, lack of control, and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer uses the terms abuse and dependence. Instead, DSM-5 uses a single disorder which is rated by severity (mild, moderate, and severe) depending on the number of symptoms met. Individuals must meet at least two of 11 symptoms to be diagnosed with a drug-use disorder.

READ FULL ARTICLE From National Institute of Health
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