Recovery Resource Library

Journal of Drug Issues

According to nationally representative surveys, approximately 23 million Americans aged 12 or older meet diagnostic criteria for a past-year DSM-IV diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2008). Substance-related conditions confer a massive burden of disease, huge social costs,and a financial impact which far exceeds that of highly prevalent medical disorders, such as heart disease or cancer (Gmel & Rehm, 2003; Harwood, 2000). Treatment is strongly associated with reducing the negative social and personal impact of substance-related disorders (Rehm, Taylor, & Room, 2006), yet only a small percentage of affected individuals access treatment (SAMHSA, 2008). Stigma surrounding substance-related conditions is cited as one of the major reasons why such individuals do not seek treatment (SAMHSA, 2008).