Substance Abuse among Young Adults

The problem of drugs and substance abuse has been regarded as a huge menace to the society. The estimated annual expenses associated with alcohol in the United States is estimated to be $185 billion, while $181 billion is estimated to be the cost associated with other drugs abuse and the consequences. Substances use has a negative impact on public health and human development (Rios, et al., 2012). Substance abuse has been known to create issues related to cognition, health behaviors, antisocial behavior, and educational attainment. My topic of analysis will be substance abuse prevalence among young adults aged 24 to 40 years. The analysis will explore the problem at hand to offer a focus of the main project. The setting of the problem will also be expounded and its impacts.

Description of the Problem

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Drug and substance among young adults have proved to be a major public health problem in the United States. The two common substances that are abused among the young adults are alcohol and tobacco. Other drugs include marijuana, inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine (Sutfin, Song, Reboussin, &Wolfson, 2014). There is a growing concern on the issue of abuse of the prescription drug. Reports indicate that 36% of young adults at the age of 18-25 abused the illicit drug. While there has been noted a slight decrease in young adults engaged in alcohol abuse, the proportion of the young adults using illicit drugs has been observed to be in a steady rise with higher cases noted on marijuana use and nonmedical use of prescription drugs (Lord &Marsch, 2011).

Setting of the Problem of Substance Abuse among Young Adults

The problem of substance abuse among the young adults has been a recurrent problem in the nation. This analysis of the problem will be conducted to understand the extent in the whole nation as well as in North Carolina. North Carolina has over 642000 of people above the age or 12 years and above who have been noted to engage in the illicit drugs. More than 1.6 million people were found to be engaging in alcohol drinking. In North Carolina, despite the large number associated with drugs abuse, very few of the affected individuals receive the proper treatment (Silberman et al., 2009).

A Description of the Problem, Issue, and Educational Needs

The failure to be able to reach out to the affected people and treat people with substance abuse disorders creates significant societal implications. The problem of alcohol and drug abuse in North Carolina has been approximated to have a cost of more than $12.4 billion in North Carolina. Other problems have been known to arise from the issue of substance abuse such as traffic accidents. The problem is even felt in the prisons where 90% of the prisoners entering the system have substance abuse disorder. The problem can be attributed to over 75% of children who enter the foster care system (Dennis et al., 2015). In North Carolina, they have created a Mental Health, Development Disabilities and Substance Abuse System within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This is tasked with ensuring that substance abuse prevention among treatment services are availed.

Impact of the Issue of Substance Abuse

The impacts of substance abuse are felt across various sectors including the economic, social, and financial and health issues (Clark & Brook, 2015). It has been estimated that there is about 5% of stroke cases among young adults aged 18-44 years. Alcohol use and marijuana use among young adults has been associated with higher childhood family social, economic status (ME, Wightman, P, Scheoni, &Schulenberg, 2012).

Significance of the Problem

The issue of substance abuse among the young adults affects the most productive labor segment of the economy. This prompted the General Assembly of North Carolina to seek an establishment of a task force at North Carolina Institute of Medicine to research on the problem and establish the cause of failure in the state’s substance abuse system. This indicates that the issue is important which needs to deal with appropriately (Silberman et al., 2009).

Proposed Solution

The issue of substance abuse requires an all-inclusive solution bringing together all stakeholders in the society. There is need to establish clinical health system to help those already indulged in substance abuse. The state needs to establish rehabilitation centers to cater for these individuals. The society should also come together to support the issue taskforce against drug and substance abuse. The solution needs to include a means of economic empowerment of the young adults. Sports participation has been noted to have a positive role in health and development of the youth.


Clark, T., & Brook, J. (2015). Perceived discrimination, depressive symptoms, and substance use among African-American and Afro-Caribbean young adults. Drug & Alcohol Dependence146, e247-e248.

Dennis, K., Rodi, M. S., Robinson, G., DeCerchio, K., Young, N. K., Gardner, S. L., …& Corona, M. (2015). Promising Results for Cross-Systems Collaborative Efforts to Meet the Needs of Families Impacted by Substance Use. Child welfare94(5), 21.

Kwan, M., Bobko, S., Guy, F., Donnelly, P., & Cairney, J. (2014). Sport Participation and Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use in Adolescents and Young Adults. Addictive Behaviors, 497-506.

Lord, S., & Marsch, L. (2011). Emerging Trends and Innovations in the Identificationa nd Management of Drug Use Among Adolescents and Young Adults. Adolescents Med State Art Rev, 649.

ME, P., Wightman, P, Scheoni, R., & Schulenberg, J. (2012). Socioeconomic Status and Substance Use Among Young Adults . Journal of Studies in Alcohol Drugs, 772-782.

Rios, F., Kleindorfer, D., Khoury, J., Broderick, J., Moomaw, C., & Flaherty, M. (2012). Trend in Substance Abuse Preceding Stroke Among Young Adults. American .

Silberman, P., Insko, V., Nesbitt, M., Book, D., Bratcher, K., Yorkery, B., . . . Holmes, M. (2009). Substance Abuse in North Carolina. NC Med Journal.

Sutfin, E. L., Song, E. Y., Reboussin, B. A., &Wolfson, M. (2014). What are young adults smoking

in their hookahs? A latent class analysis of substances smoked. Addictive behaviors39(7), 1191-1196.

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