-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The time between the start
of substance abuse and the first admission for treatment is longer
for men than for women, a U.S. government report shows.
Researchers looked at 669,000 adults admitted for substance
abuse treatment for the first time last year and found that the
average length of time since they started using the substance they
were primarily being treated for was 15.6 years.
The average length of time was 16.5 years for men and 13.8 years
for women, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Administration (SAMHSA) report.
When the researchers examined specific substances of abuse, the
average length of time between first use and first treatment was
longest for alcohol (20.2 years) and shortest for prescription
painkillers (7.8 years).
"This study shows that the damaging consequences of substance abuse can often be undetected or unacknowledged for many years -- undermining many aspects of people's health and well-being, as well as the lives of those around them," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an administration news release.
"That is why it is essential that we work to prevent substance abuse in the first place, and in instances where it happens, identify the problem and get people the treatment they need as soon as possible so that they, and their families and friends, do not have to endure years of needless suffering," she added.
The World Health Organization has more about
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