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Substance Abuse Research Papers

Substance abuse research papers cover one of the world's biggest social problems. Your research paper on substance abuse can be ordered to be written on any aspect of drug, alcohol or the abuse of any substance that you need forcused on. The most recent academic sources are used and critical examination of peer reviewed materials are incorporated into your project on substance abuse. Gaining an understanding of how mental illness and substance abuse relate has been a challenge for sociologiests. Have the issues and concerns explicated in a custom project on any form of the problem.

Studies on Substance Abuse for Research

Substance AbuseStudies that examine various disorders combined with specific mental illnesses such as alcoholism and antipersonality disorder have been conducted but one can not generalize the results or treatment recommendations to all other group of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Each illness and substance carries with them their own etiologies, treatment recommendations and outcomes.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) established by the federal government provides them most comprehensive data on illicit substance abuse in the general population. According to this organization, in 2001, the year that the most recent statistics were available, statistical data shows an increase in the number of individuals over the age of 12 using illicit drugs “in the past month.” Summarizing the overall data acquired under the survey, the organization notes:

  • 15.9 million Americans ages 12 and older (7.1%) reported using an illicit drug in the month before the survey was conducted
  • More than 12% reported illicit drug use during the past year and 41.7% reported some use of an illicit drug at least once during their lifetimes.
  • Drug use in the month before the survey increased from 6.3 percent in 1999 to 7.1 percent in 2001.
  • Marijuana - 12.1 million users, or 5.4% of the population
  • Cocaine - 1.7 million users, or 0.7% of the population
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, and MDMA) - 1.3 million users, or 0.6% of the population
  • Approximately 37% of those over the age of 12 reported lifetime use of marijuana
  • 12.3% reported lifetime use of cocaine
  • 12.5% reported lifetime use of hallucinogens

What this suggests is that use of illicit drugs continues to rise dramatically.
Further examining the data provided by the ONDCP, the organization also defines the specific drugs and number of users for each type. According to the organization the following drugs were used most frequently: Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin, and Methamphetamine. Placing this in terms of cost, the ONDCP goes on to note that in 2000, Americans spent: $36 billion on cocaine, $11 billion on marijuana, $10 billion on heroin, $5.4 billion on methamphetamine, and $2.4 on other drugs such as LSD and other hallucinogens. In terms of the social costs of drug use to society, the ONDCP reports that in 2000, the U.S. government spent more than $160 billion in an attempt to stop the sale and use of illicit drugs.

While the specific statistics relating to substance abuse in the United States are quite overwhelming, what also proves to be quite stunning is the fact that even though the U.S. has been shown to expend the most amount of money fighting the sale and use of illicit drugs, the country has one of the highest rates of drug use in the international community. “Cannabis lifetime experience and recent use are higher in the United States than in any EU country. Cocaine lifetime experience is also higher in the United States than in any EU country, and recent use is higher than in most countries…”. What this data clearly demonstrates is the even though the U.S. has taken such proactive steps toward reducing drug use, these efforts have proven to have little impact on quelling the use of illicit use of drugs in the general population.

Synthesizing the data that is currently available on drug use in the general population, it is evident that this problem is endemic to the United States. As the data in Appendix A demonstrates, since the early 1980s, general drug use in the population has only continued to grow. What this implies is that millions of individuals that use drugs and are subsequently employed may, at some point during their employment work while under the influence of an illicit drug. Given the potential frequency for this to happen, it is useful to consider the statistics that have been collected on the use of illicit drugs in the workplace. Only by examining these statistics will it be possible to garner a more comprehensive understanding of the severity of the problem.

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