The National Survey On Drug Use And Health (NSDUH) is a study carried out yearly by the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), since the late 90’s.  It gives a yearly snapshot, demographically, of who is abusing substances, which substances they’re abusing, and whether they’re getting treatment or not, among other things.  I made the following chart from information found in the NSDUH – it shows what percentage of americans are abusing substances (including alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, crack, hallucinogens, inhalants, and prescription drugs) by age from the years 2000, 2004, and 2009.  I did this to give you a look at an important trend.  Have a look:

The trend is obvious – the rate of addiction spikes in young adulthood, rapidly declines soon after, then steadily with age.  I have asserted elsewhere on this blog that addiction is most often a phase that young people go through, this chart should serve as proof of that claim.  For example, if you look at the gray line representing the rates of addiction in 2004 you’ll see that it spikes with 25.4% of 21 year olds addicted, but by the time we get to 30 year olds, the rate is cut by more than half, with only 10.9% addicted – and while the rates fluctuate from year to year, the trend remains the same in 2000 and 2009 – with a huge spike in addiction in the early 20’s followed by a rapid decline by age 30.

There is a big lie that we’re confronting with this data – the idea that addiction is a lifelong disease.  If it were, we simply wouldn’t see such an obvious trend.

You’ll notice I also included rates of treatment in the chart – I’ve thought quite a bit about this data, and I’m not totally sure what to make of it, except that it’s further proof that a majority of people end their addictions whether or not they receive treatment.


The Freedom Model For Addictions
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*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Freedom Model Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.


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