March 1, 2024

A harrowing new federal survey is shedding extra gentle on simply how unhealthy the substance abuse disaster has grown in the USA. 

In keeping with new information from the Division of Well being and Human Companies, practically 49 million Individuals aged 12 or older reported having a substance use dysfunction in 2022. That quantity included some 29.5 million individuals who had an alcohol use dysfunction,  27.2 million individuals who had a drug use dysfunction, and eight million individuals who had each an alcohol and drug use dysfunction.

The survey additionally discovered that 23% of these aged 18 or older reported having a psychological sickness up to now yr, translating to greater than 59 million Individuals. About 1 in 5 kids aged 12 to 17 reported experiencing a serious depressive episode throughout the previous yr. 

The most recent information relies on responses to the Nationwide Survey on Drug Use and Well being, which has been performed every year since 1990 to higher decide how issues like medicine, alcohol and psychological well being are impacting American lives.

“At the moment’s information reinforces the urgency of President Biden’s name to motion: With greater than 48 million Individuals fighting substance use dysfunction, Congress should step up and supply the funding President Biden is requesting to broaden important lifesaving companies and crack down on illicit drug trafficking,” mentioned White Home Drug Coverage Director Dr. Rahul Gupta. “This isn’t a crimson state or a blue state problem: As the info exhibits, there are tens of tens of millions of Individuals in each state throughout the nation affected by this public well being disaster.” 

The Biden administration has requested greater than $2.7 billion from Congress to assist bolster the federal government’s substance abuse dysfunction companies and in addition crack down on unlawful drug trafficking.  

“The overdose epidemic is heartbreaking. But it surely’s additionally preventable. We’ve got and proceed to make progress. To proceed to make progress would require correct funding and dedication,” mentioned HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We is not going to cease utilizing each device obtainable to get Individuals the assistance they want. Proper now, the President’s emergency supplemental finances request is earlier than Congress with a request for added, vital funds to tackle the overdose disaster … Now Congress should do its half.”

Nevertheless, the decision to motion comes as Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are confronted with a extra imminent downside: a possible authorities shutdown. With the federal authorities set to expire of cash on the finish of this week, any future spending — or spending cuts — are the first problem of debate.

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