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Millions of Young Adults Use Illegal Drugs, Alcohol Daily


Fresh data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that on an average day, 3.2 million young adults used marijuana, 57,304 used heroin, 51,319 used cocaine, 46,179 used hallucinogens, and 17,868 used inhalants. 


Drinking was also prevalent among this age group.  In the past year, 27 million young adults consumed alcohol.  Even more concerning, this number includes nine million underage drinkers aged 18 to 20.  Underage drinkers drank on average 5.7 days per month and consumed an average of 4.8 drinks per day on the days they drank.


SAMHSA’s data also reveals that, every day, thousands of young adults use illicit substances for the first time.  This includes 2,470 first uses of marijuana, 1,754 first time non-medical uses of prescription pain relievers, 1,561 first uses of hallucinogens, 1,200 first uses of cocaine, 850 first uses of stimulants, 566 first uses of inhalants, 258 first uses of heroin, and 174 first uses of methamphetamines.


"This data shows how prevalent substance use is in the lives of many young adults," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.  Far too many young adults allow substance use to jeopardize their health, well-being and futures.  We must all do more to ensure that effective prevention and treatment programs are available to help young adults make the right choices."


The report also uses data from SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set to reveal that there were 403,756 admissions of young adults in the past year to substance use treatment programs. 


Data drawn from SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network reveals that in 2011 there were 488,937 hospital emergency department visits by young adults that involved illicit drug use, alcohol in combination with other substances, or the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals.


Brady Granier, Chief Operating Officer at substance abuse rehabilitation clinic BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX) expressed concern over the latest data and called for joint efforts between public and private groups to address substance abuse in the U.S. particularly amongst young adults.


BioCorRx, Inc. has developed an innovative approach to alcohol and opioid abuse treatment called the Start Fresh Program that is believed by some experts to be a “game-changer” in the rehabilitation sector.

The Start Fresh Program is a two-tiered program used by local addiction clinics across the United States which involves an outpatient medical procedure and psycho-social coaching. 

The program’s first component involves an outpatient medical procedure to embed BioCorRx’s biodegradable naltrexone implant under the abdominal skin and fatty tissue. The implant then delivers therapeutic levels of the antagonist drug, naltrexone, into the bloodstream which can curb one’s cravings for alcohol or opioids. The program is administered on an out-patient basis over an average of 6-8 months and can be done without the need to miss more than one day or work in most cases.

Learn more information about the Start Fresh Program from BioCorRx, Inc. by visiting its website

There are many resources that young adults and others with substance use problems can turn to for help.  SAMHSA's National Helpline is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service that people – including adolescents and their family members – can contact when facing substance abuse and mental health issues.  This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.  Callers can also order free publications and other information in print on substance abuse and mental health issues.  Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator at


The report, A Day in the Life of Young Adults: Substance Use Facts, contains many other facts about the scope and nature of adolescent substance abuse, treatment, and treatment admissions patterns and is available at:  It was drawn from analyses of SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Treatment Episode Data Set, and National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and Drug Abuse Warning Network.






The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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