Users Postpone Treatment for 15 Years

According to a study conducted by SAMHSA1, adults on average wait 15 years between the time they first use drugs and the time they are admitted for treatment.  In 2010, among the nearly 670,000 adults admitted for substance abuse treatment for the first time “an average of 15.6 years had elapsed since the first time they started using the substance they were primarily being treated for.”  On average men (16.5 year average) are waiting longer to seek treatment than women (13.8 year average).  Alcohol had the longest lag between first time usage and treatment of 20.2 years, while prescription drugs had the shortest average time of 7.8 years.

Unfortunately, waiting several years to seek treatment can have devastating results on an individual’s physical health and overall well-being.  After several years of usage a person can be at a higher risk of suffering irreversible damage, than if they had sought out early treatment.  This highlights the importance taking preventative measures and promoting substance abuse awareness.

1 http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k11/026/WEB_TEDS_026.htm

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