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The 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that over 20 million Americans of all ages need but do receive treatment for substance abuse. Many are not ready to quit using, many are afraid of social censure by seeking treatment, many don’t know where to turn. The Access to Recovery program begun in 2003 provides vouchers for treatment services, allowing far greater access to drug abuse treatment programs and alcohol recovery. In every state, a high percentage of all drug treatment centers receive some sort of public funding, giving citizens choices of care.

There are many types of drug abuse treatment programs, which vary in their approach. Not all address every component of drug addiction. The chart below shows how those who sought treatment for drug abuse in 2007 approached the problem:

2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA

Self-help support groups like Narcotics Anonymous remain very popular, and can provide essential emotional support to people struggling with addiction. While they can refer addicts to the proper programs, they are not in general set up to provide clinical services themselves. Detoxification and counseling are both required to start addicts on the road to long-term recovery, to address both the physical problems inherent in drug abuse and the emotional dependency created by it. Drug abuse treatment programs administered through private or public treatment centers address all aspects of addiction, either in-house or by contracting services with other agencies.

The most common reasons for not seeking treatment for substance abuse are shown below. However, due to the increasing focus by all states on the need for treatment, as well as the increasing social awareness and empathy for such problems, perceptions among drug abusers as to cost and “what people will think” may shift over time.

2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA

What will not shift is the need for immediate treatment for all types of substance abuse. State and federal studies have repeatedly shown that the earlier drinking or drug use begins, the greater the likelihood that it will evolve into a habit involving drug and alcohol treatment at some point. This is especially true when children are introduced to drugs or alcohol before age 14. Note from the chart below that the incidence of illicit drug abuse is highest among people under 25, yet other reports show that the average age of people seeking treatment for drug abuse is 39. That is many productive years lost to drugs.

2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA

There are over 13,000 drug abuse treatment programs and facilities in the United States. Between 40% and 90% of them receive state, local, or federal funding to operate. Users with a desire to quit therefore have no shortage of programs either in their community, their state, or within a few hours’ drive. Patients should begin with visit to a doctor for an evaluation to determine which is right for any particular individual.









Recognition and admission of alcohol dependency are the most important factors to recovering from alcoholism and below are ten warning signs of alcoholism.
This list is by no means exhaustive and is not in any particular order but is meant as a guide to help you determine whether you or someone you know suffers from alcoholism.
1  Do you find yourself consuming extra drinks at parties or when you meet friends or acquaintances at bars?  This is a sign that you probably drink more than you would consider sociably acceptable.