Let’s talk about drug abuse.
Abuse of any kind is improper use, or dependency. In some cases, so-called “recreational” use is “abuse,” for there is no other kind of use, since a drug may be already illegal.
For the greatest part, those drugs, which are sometimes mistakenly called ‘narcotics’ (technically, narcotics are derivatives of and synthetic chemical relatives to the opium plant) are already illegal, and include LSD and other hallucinogens, heroin, methamphetamine (as “crystal meth”), etc. And, at the Federal level, like it, or not, agree or disagree, marijuana is included in that list.
Further, alcohol must be included in the list of abused substances, simply because we know that people’s lives can be, and are destroyed by alcohol abuse, directly and indirectly.
There’s a database of information based upon hospital admissions related to drug abuse. It’s called the Treatment Episode Data Set, or TEDS, and the information is collected anonymously by each facility in a state that receives “State alcohol and/or drug agency funds (including Federal Block Grant funds) for the provision of substance abuse treatment.”
It is not a exhaustive data set by any means, and there are limitations upon it, yet it does provide some reliable degree of accuracy to the extent, scope and nature of the problem. Consequently, information in “the tables focus on treatment admissions for substance abusers.”
In other words, someone abuses a substance on the list to the extent that they need some degree of care, including hospitalization, and that anonymous information about their admission gets collected and reported. For the purposes of that report, anonymous information is age, sex, ethnicity/race and drug(s) which led to the need for treatment.
The TEDS list of abused drugs are: Read the rest of this entry »