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Warren County touched by drug abuse
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Don’t think Warren County has been excluded from data gathered by several state and federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that points out that a significant portion of the nation’s population is challenged by substance dependence or abuse.The data published by the CDC, while national in its scope, is gathered from large cities and small communities.It includes places just like Warren County and addresses all age groups and all relative demographics.And this month the information provided about substance dependence and abuse is more pronounced as the nation recognizes September as National Recovery Month. According to the most recently posted statistics from the year 2014, about 21.5 million people living in the U.S. who are 12 years of age or older have been classified as having substance dependence or abuse issues within the past year from when the survey was conducted.An estimated 8.7 million underage persons between the ages of 12 and 20 were recognized in the study as “current drinkers,” 5.3 million as “binge drinkers,” and 1.4 million included in the study were identified as “heavy drinkers.”More than 7.9 million U.S. adults are reported as having co-occurring disorders, which means in the past year they have had an occurrence with both mental illness and a substance use disorder.It is estimated by authorities that by 2020 mental health and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.According to research, the first behavioral health symptoms typically precede a mental health and/ or substance use disorder by two to four years, offering a window of opportunity for intervention early and as often as may be required.Historical data, that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, holds that most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease criminal activity if relevant, and improve occupational, social, and psychological functioning.Today it’s believed two-thirds of Americans believe treatment and support can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives.Treatment and support for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues are available through services provided by Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System, a nonprofit agency serving some 31 counties in Middle and Southeast Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland Region including this local county. For more information about recovery, substance abuse, mental illness or related topics call Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System at 1-877-567-6051 or visit www.vbhcs.org.