Cory Monteith from the T.V. show “Glee” was found dead in his Canadian hotel on Saturday July 13, 2013. Although there are no official conclusions as to the cause of death, many suspect a drug overdose, according the BBC News. Monteith, who was 31 years-old, was treated for a drug addiction this past April and had a history of substance abuse. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
What is Substance Abuse?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines substance abuse as, “the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.” The use of drugs and alcohol can lead to an addiction that takes control over the person’s life. The WHO describes what substance abuse does to a person,
“Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome – a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.”
Statistics on Substance Abuse
Substance abuse effects every community and many families feel the effects of their loved one and his or her addiction. So how prevalent is drug abuse? What about alcohol abuse? The WHO keeps track of these types of statistics so that experts can know how big the problem is worldwide, and find ways to prevent and help those who are addicted. Here are some additional statistics from the WHO;
- Alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year.
- 320,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 29 die from alcohol related causes: This makes up nine percent of all deaths in that age group.
- 15.3 million people have a drug addiction.
In the United States, for the past two decades, deaths due to drug abuse have risen 102 percent between 1999 and 2010 – drug abuse is now the leading cause of injury death, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those who are between the ages of 24 and 64 are more likely to die of a drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident. So are all of these deaths intentional? Sadly, they are not. The CDC reports that in 2010, 78 percent of the drug overdose deaths were unintentional, meaning the person was not trying to end his or her life.
Only 14 percent of the drug overdose deaths were suicidal, and eight percent of the drug overdose deaths were undetermined.