When surveying populations based on gender in those ages 12 and older, it was observed that males had a higher substance dependence rate than females. However, the difference in the rates aren't apparent until after age 17.[43] The Drug and Alcohol Dependence reports that older adults abuse drugs and alcohol at a rate of 15-20%. It's estimated that 52 million Americans beyond 12 years old have abused a substance.[44]
Drug abuse takes a financial toll on all Americans. The use of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth and ecstasy costs the U.S. $11 billion in health care. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, total yearly costs in terms of hospitalization, emergency medical care, lost work productivity, premature death and criminal behavior surpassed $193 billion in 2007.
More than 7 percent of all American adults have an alcohol use disorder. These adults drink too much, too often, and in ways that harm their health, their happiness, and their relationships. An intervention, in which the family outlines alcohol’s consequences, can push these people to enter treatment programs. Once there, counseling sessions, relapse prevention coaching, and support group work can help to support recovery. Relapse rates for alcohol fall within the 40-60 percent range, so people often need to stick with aftercare for the rest of life.

This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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