Treatment for substance abuse is critical for many around the world. Often, a formal intervention is necessary to convince the substance abuser to submit to any form of treatment. This intervention helps a person deal with the physical and psychosocial problems related to substance use. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in its 2011 survey reveals the prevalence and patterns of the receipt of treatment in the past year for problems related to substance use.
In 2011, 3.8 million persons aged 12 or older or 1.5% of the population received treatment for a problem related to the use of alcohol or illicit drugs. Of these, 1.2 million received treatment for the use of both alcohol and illicit drugs, 0.8 million received treatment for the use of illicit drugs but not alcohol, and 1.4 million received treatment for the use of alcohol but not illicit drugs. Of note, the estimates by substance do not sum to the total number of persons receiving treatment because the total includes persons who reported receiving treatment but did not report for which substance the treatment was received.
The survey also provided information about substances for which most recent treatments was received in the past year among persons aged 12 or older. Findings showed that in 2011, during their most recent treatment in the past year, 2.4 million persons aged 12 or older reported receiving treatment for alcohol use, and 872,000 persons reported receiving treatment for marijuana use. Estimates for receiving treatment for the use of other drugs were 726,000 persons for pain relievers, 511,000 for cocaine, 430,000 for heroin, 318,000 for tranquilizers, 309,000 for stimulants, and 293,000 for hallucinogens. None of these estimates changed significantly between 2010 and 2011.
The figure below demonstrates the substances for which most recent treatments was received in the past year among persons aged 12 or older: