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Consequences of Illicit Drug Use in USA

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Posted by Dylan Thurston on June 21, 2011 at 7:57 am

There has been an increase in the use of illicit drugs in the United States. This increase in the drug abuse has many effects on the nation. The harmful consequences of use of these illicit drugs are here under:

Drug Deaths:
According to the latest data available, 38,371 people died of drug-induced causes in 2007, with 34,598 suicides and 18,361 homicides. In U.S for every 15 minutes, there is a drug-induced death. Many preventable deaths occurred in 2007 due to drug induced causes.

Economic Costs:
The economic cost of drug abuse in the US was estimated at $180.9 billion in 2002 and this costs includes resources used to cure the health of addicts and the costs involved in crime consequences.

Drugged Driving:
According to a self report survey in 2009, approximately 10.5 million Americans reported driving under the influence of an illicit drug. One in three drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes who drove under the influence of drugs in 2009.

School Performance:
Use of the illicit drugs also increased among the 8th, 10th and 12th graders and this shows a great effect on the performance of those children in the schools. These addicted students are more likely to skip the class more frequently, and spend less time studying.

Treatment Needs:
In 2009, 7.1 million persons needed treatment for illicit drug problems. Of these 7.1 million, 1.5 million received specialty treatment.

Criminal Justice Involvement:
According to a 2009 study of arrestees in 10 metropolitan cities in the United States, there are more number of people arrested for using the drugs than the people who are generally arrested. The percentage of booked arrestees testing positive for at least one illicit drug ranged from 56 percent to 82 percent.

Severe Health Effects:
In 2008, an estimated 2 million people were admitted in the hospitals for treating drug addiction. Out of these, one million visits were due to the use of illicit drugs.

Environmental Impact:
There are also some significant environmental impacts caused because of the manufacturing of these illicit drugs in the labs. These impacts includes chemical toxicity, risk of fire and explosion, lingering effects of toxic waste, and potential injuries. Coca and poppy cultivation which are used in the preparation of the illicit drugs significantly damages the environment.

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