Duke Health Logo Though every person we know may not indulge in drugs, it’s only when an extensive survey is conducted do we know the exact figures. Such a study conducted by experts from the Duke University has revealed that drug abuse is a significant issue for whites, Native Americans, Hispanics and the youth of varied races.

Nevertheless, the analysis disclosed that drug consumption was relatively lower among people from Asia and those from African American origin. Amidst the most used drugs, marijuana tops the list while other stimulants and alcohol follow thereafter. Surprisingly, prescription opioids like oxycodone seemed to become new avenues for getting high.

“I think it will be surprising to some people what the numbers show. There’s a significant burden of these disorders, and it’s important to recognize that among teens using these substances, there’s between a 10 percent and 26 percent chance of having a substance use disorder,” commented Dan C. Blazer, MD, PhD, in Duke’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and senior author on the study.

The information was gathered between 2005 and 2008 from surveys of nearly 72,561 young adults in the age-group 12 to 17. Among this set, about 37% reported that they consumed alcohol or drugs last fall while 7.9% seemingly fell in the category of substance use disorder. This implied that their substance use had spiked, impeded normal life activities, and caused legal or personal problems too.

Teens who were natives of America seemed to be the most involved in alcohol, while the whites and Hispanics followed thereon. Contrarily, approximately 24.8% of those belonging to the African–American origin and 18.9% of adolescents from Asia reported alcohol use in the previous year.

Drug consumption apparently conformed to a similar sequence. Heroin appeared to cause addiction or abuse in the youth with about 26.4% of them developing problems with its use. As far as marijuana goes, almost 25.9% were reportedly dependent on it and the frequency of drug use was also high.

Marijuana use was supposedly two folds the prevalence of other drugs since abusers consumed it for 79 days on an average, last year. On this end, stimulants were taken for 47 days while opioids and alcohol were consumed for 39 and 36 days, respectively.

Blazer concluded that these young people ought to receive treatment at an earlier stage or be guided into preventing the onset of addiction itself. The study is published in the journal, Archives of General Psychiatry.