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New Data Proves It: You’re Not Alone

A Pew Research Center survey gives us another sharp statistical window on substance use in America. Its findings may surprise you.

Among the survey’s most important findings is that SUD is largely an equal-opportunity disease: men and women are equally likely to have a Loved One who struggles with it, as are Democrats, Republicans, and independents. The difference between Black, white, and Hispanic people in the U.S. is slight. There’s greater differentiation by age and level of education, but the contrast is still not dramatic.

This brief article puts the Pew data in the context of other government research, including the rising share of drug-related deaths accounted for by opioids. The increase use of this class of drugs, which include prescription painkillers, is largely responsible for the tripling of drug deaths from 1990 to 2015. It also notes that deaths among white drug users have increased much faster than those of other groups since the late 1990s.

The bottom line is that no group or cross-section of society lives in a bubble of safety. While our access to resources and networks of support varies drastically, substance use disorder touches us all.


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In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)