Substance Abuse Taking Over: Steps to Saving Next Generation

Substance Abuse Taking Over: Steps to Saving Next Generation

Published March 23, 2023

By: Kennedy Webb-Glenn

Independence Beverage Liquor Store

Substance abuse is a problem that is becoming more prevalent in the world today. It is the use of illegal drugs or the usage of prescription or over the counter drugs or alcohol for purposes other than those which they are meant. It means they are used in an excessive amount. According to Emory department of psychiatry and behavioral science 18–25-year-olds are reported to have the greatest amount of binge drinking, with 38-48% of people in this age range admitting to binge drinking within the past 30 days.

Emory studies show that marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the U.S. The main active chemical is THC. Short-term effects include memory and learning problems, distorted perception, and difficulty thinking and solving problems. Emory psychiatry says “roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse. Thirty-seven percent of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness”.

Marijuana Loaf

Emory says of all people diagnosed as mentally ill 29% abuse either is alcohol or drugs. “Four million Americans have been diagnosed with both a substance abuse disorder and a serious mental illness. According to Johns Hopkins medicine research, substance use disorder can result from substance abuse which is the use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription over the counter drugs or alcohol for purposes that are meant to be used in high amounts.,%2C%20nicotine%2C%20or%20prescription%20medicines.

This leads to social, emotional, physical, and more job-related problems.” Studies from Emory strongly suggest that individuals with both substance abuse problems and mental illness should receive treatment for both types of issues, to recover fully.  Dr. Sandra Hans, MD is a family medicine specialist in West Chester Ohio.

Profile of Dr. Hans

She specializes in family medicine and says that she sees approximately 11 to 20 patients per day. “Patients are usually transparent when they come in and feel comfortable to tell me things. I have noticed that if I see patients for the day about 4 of them have shown signs of some kind of substance abuse even if they don’t admit to it”. “Being a family doctor, I find patients have an advantage because I usually also care for the rest of their family.”

“It is better and becomes a family effort to help start the process of sobriety.” She said, “it is important to build trust within my patients. I am able to get a better sense of what’s going on when an interaction doesn’t go the way you expect it to in the office.” Sometimes it’s not that easy and I must read between the lines a little bit to have a conversation about substance abuse if they have previously said no to the usage of alcohol and drugs during questioning.”

“It is important to build trust within my patients.”

Sandra Hans, Family Medicine Doctor

According to the monitoring of the future study, rates of nicotine vaping have been increasing and building an upward trend in 2021 which seems to have come about pre pandemic. .


The data from the monitoring of the future study shows that when teenagers were asked about the perceived harmfulness of narcotics students have reported a great risk ranging from 22.9% to 52% among 12th graders. There has been a dramatic rise in overdose deaths due to fentanyl.

High Quality

The data also shows that drug use is more dangerous than ever before. The results from a national sample says that the top nationality affected is African Americans, and 48% of males to 47% female.

Deja Maynor, TriCi College student is a heavy vape user. She said, “sometimes I hit my vape without even noticing it. It is a mechanism that comes when I get nervous or over think things. It helps me with the anxiety and stress I feel.” According to The American Addiction Center the use of substance abuse is directly correlated to the high levels of stress students experience related to their academic performance, social life, and family concerns.

“I hit my vape without even noticing it.”

Deja Maynor, TriCi Student

Carmen Hall, Mental health wellness and therapy training coach sees patients and specifically students that deal with substance abuse. She said, “stress can be caused by being here but wanting to be somewhere else. That may be what people are seeking to do when they partake in substances such as drugs or alcohol.” Carmen said mental health is very important and contributes to substance abuse because our mind is a strong indicator to how or why we do certain things.” The process of recovery is very important for substance abuse.

“Stress can be caused by being here, but wanting to be somewhere else.”

Carmen Hall, Therapist
Carmen Hall, Therapist

According to The American Addiction Center the NIAA has collaborated with college alcohol researchers and staff to develop an intervention program which involved booklets and websites to help colleges identify and find ways to deal with the abuse on campus. These interventions can include education and awareness programs, cognitive-behavioral skills, motivational approaches, and behavioral interventions.

These things are all offered by healthcare professionals. American Addiction Center also has tips such as scheduling classes on Fridays to reduce alcohol related partying on Thursdays, monitoring fraternities and sororities, and having longer opening hours for recreational facilities and activities as well as going to the library. Prevention programs are one main way and source for substance abuse but there are others.

Sometimes medicine can have the best effect for the people who are experiencing high levels of substance abuse. “I recommend medication assisted treatment sometimes. Some patients take buprenorphine for their specific substance abuse, but it doesn’t work for everybody. We work around to use other medications that we might see fit to describe, says Dr. Hans, MD. There was major curiosity with whether the decrease that was seen last year in substance abuse would continue into the future.

According to the National Institutes of Health, we are seeing that substance abuse indeed has a longer lasting impact for certain specific substances. It is important to continue monitoring and understanding the impacts on future drug behavior especially after the pre-pandemic levels and the outcomes of today’s society. For more information on substance and mental health treatment programs in the area, call the free National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP.

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