Almost 10 Percent of Americans Report Having Used Illicit Drugs

First Posted: Sep 05, 2014 11:07 PM EDT

As marijuana becomes more accepted throughout the United States, researchers have also discovered that nearly 10 percent of all Americans 12 and up have used illicit drugs in 2013.

Findings from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that nearly 20 million people admitted to using marijuana within the past few years.

"As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Recovery Month our nation can be proud of the strides made in successfully promoting the power of recovery from mental and substance use disorders," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyda, in a news release. "However, throughout our nation thousands still needlessly suffer the ravages of untreated substance use and mental disorders. We must reach out to all people with unmet need so that they can return to lives full of hope, well-being and fulfillment."

There has also been a spike in use of opioid painkillers throughout the United States. Fortunately, recent rules by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have brought out new rules for misused medications in America--particularly for hydrocodone combination drugs, making them harder to obtain, according to Health Day. 

Much of licit and illicit drug abuse  has been linked to varying levels of mental disorders. In 2013, it's estimated that roughly 14 percent of American adults reported receiving mental health counseling, while roughly 10 million reported suffering from a serious mental health disorder.

"We must continue to use that voice to share our triumphs and our challenges, and show the world that millions of us are leading happy, healthy, productive lives in long-term recovery," concluded Michael Botticelli, acting director of National Drug Control Policy. "Each recovery story we tell chips away at the misconceptions that keep someone struggling with an addictive disorder from asking for help."

More information regarding the report, "Substance Use and Mental Health Estimates from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health-Overview of Findings," can be seen here.

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