Federal Data Shows Scope of Substance Abuse, Mental Illness

Sep 14, 2018

New users trying heroin has slowed, but significan problems persist.
Credit WEKU.Fm

The federal government released today a report on substance abuse and mental illness across the country. Dr. Elinor McCance-Katz  leads the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She said there are some positive changes.

“One of the most important findings from this national survey and data set is the very steep decline in new users of heroin from 2016, 170,000 new users of heroin, this dropped by more than half to 81,000 new users in 2017.”

In spite of the good news, the study showed there are still nearly 900,000 heroin users in the United States. 

McCance-Katz said there is a wide gap between those who need treatment and how many peole actually get care. 

“Ninety-two percent of people with substance use disorder still will get no treatment, 57 percent of people with a mental illness will get no treatment and fully a third, 33 percent of people with serious mental illness will get absolutely no treatment for illnesses that  greatly impact their ability to function day-to-day,” she said. 

The report also showed a rise in the use of marijuana across the country with a particularly significant increase among women.