Could someone you know be struggling with substance abuse in New York? With a Census-estimated population of more than 323 million in 2016, the odds might seem low, but don’t be misled. According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, or OASAS, around 12 percent of all New Yorkers above the age of 11 experience addiction or abuse disorders each year. For the millions who suffer and their families, substance abuse is a growing crisis, especially as it pertains to opioid drugs. Here are some critical facts on how these problems play increasing roles in the lives of the Empire State’s residents.
Drinking in New York: Alcohol Abuse Statistics
As in most states, alcohol abuse takes many forms in New York. Sufferers come from all cultural backgrounds and walks of life, and some may not even realize that they have problems. Harmful cultural attitudes towards social drinking often normalize alcoholism and dangerous behaviors, with 1 out of 15 teen NYC motorists admitting to driving after drinking.
- In 2015, 24 percent of people who enrolled in OASAS chemical dependence treatment programs did so because of their alcohol problems.
- From 2009 to 2013, around 1.1 million New Yorkers above the age of 11 dealt with alcohol use or dependence. More than 900,000 adults above the age of 20 reported heavy drinking within the previous month of being surveyed.
- Alcohol was a factor in 7,849 vehicle crashes statewide in 2014.
The Pharmaceutical Industry: Prescription Abuse Stats
Like most of the country, New York is dealing with a substance abuse calamity brought on by the overuse and misuse of prescription drugs. Healthcare professionals usually provide these medications, but this doesn’t mean that they’re safe for everyone. Patients who become addicted may eventually get involved with more dangerous illegal substances, like heroin. Opioid treatment programs accounted for 38 percent of the state’s dependence program enrollment in 2015.
- Federal government data found that between 2008 and 2011, opioid prescriptions in New York City exhibited a 31 percent spike.
- The prescription drug abuse issue was at one point severe enough that in 2013, the state passed a law requiring medication prescribers to consult an internet registry to find out about their patients’ pharmaceutical drug use histories before giving them medicines.
- In 2013, U.S. healthcare costs associated with the use of prescription opioid drugs exceeded $26 billion.
- From 2008 to 2009, 1.4 percent of NYC residents above the age of 11 reported using benzodiazepines, like Valium, Ativan or Xanax, without a medical prescription or in ways that were inconsistent with their caregivers’ instructions.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, claims that prescription drug abuse is most prevalent among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
- NIDA also says that while men are more likely to abuse prescription pain medicines in general, women are more prone to seek treatment for drugs like barbiturates, such as sleeping aids.
New York’s Illegal Drugs: Illicit Substance Abuse Statistics
Many New Yorkers also struggle with various prohibited drugs. Of all the 2015 enrollees who checked into OASAS-certified chemical dependence treatment programs and rehabs in New York, heroin was the primary abuse substance for a massive 48 percent of assistance seekers. This was eight times as high as enrollments for cocaine including crack.
- The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc, or NCADD, reported that in 2015, 27.1 million Americans used illicit drugs or abused their prescriptions.
- NCADD maintains that women in the military tend to be at higher risk of using illegal drugs than males are, which may be related to the fact that 1 in 5 female veterans experience PTSD due to military sexual trauma.
- In NYC, heroin use accounted for more than 25 percent of all primary treatment admissions in 2012, and the purity of readily available heroin increased significantly in 2010.
The Combined Effects of Substance Abuse
The overall impacts of substance abuse are widespread, and they change the lives of diverse populations. For instance, substances like methamphetamine are traditionally thought of as being rural problems, but they’re also abused in urban areas, as is evidenced by a 2015 seizure of 25 kilos of the drug near NYC’s Holland Tunnel.
- Law enforcement officials say that New York City is the nation’s largest market for illegal drugs.
- In 2015, 96,883 New Yorkers enrolled in chemical dependency treatment programs each day.
- In 2014, statewide auto accidents involving drugs other than alcohol exceeded 1,200 incidents.
- Tenants in NYC supportive housing could be at particularly high risk. In 2010, some 14 percent of these individuals reported drug use, 28 percent reported binge drinking and 73 percent reported smoking.
- New York’s OASAS comprises one of the largest addiction service systems in the U.S., treating more than a quarter of a million people annually.
- OASAS estimates say that 160,000 New York substance abusers between the ages of 12 and 17 also exhibit problematic gambling behaviors.
Lakeview Health Can Help, No Matter Where You Are
The risks of substance abuse can have an adverse impact on your life. Whether you’re dealing with an issue or someone else in your family is, the financial, physical and psychological costs are high. Learning about rehabs in New York may be the best way to confront your addiction, but if you choose to leave your environment to tackle your addiction, consider Lakeview Health. Talk to a Lakeview Health specialist today.