NH ranks high for alcohol and drug abuse among young adults
CONCORD – Young people in New Hampshire – ages 18 to 25 – binge drink at a rate that is 9 percent above the national average, and 27 percent of them use marijuana on a regular basis.
Those are among the findings in a report, “Young Adult Substance Abuse in New Hampshire,” issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DAHHS) Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS).
“The vast majority of those who develop alcoholism and drug addiction began drinking and using drugs in their teens, and the young adult years are often where problems either diminish or get worse,” said Joe Harding, BDAS director, in a prepared statement. “It's a critical age where we need to be talking more, whether we're a health clinic worker, a parent, an employer or a college dorm supervisor.”
Binge drinking poses significant risk for car crashes, unintended sexual activity, violence and other short-term problems, according to health officials.
The report, called an “Issue Brief,” provides statistics on young adult substance abuse and information on resources available to health clinics, colleges, businesses, and others that interact with the state's young adult population.
“Employers are having a hard time finding young workers who can pass necessary drug tests for employment in some industries, and once hired, employees who misuse alcohol or other drugs start costing the business in other ways,” said Tym Rourke, director of Program and Substance Use Disorders Grantmaking at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. “We need to be talking about it, but that's not all we can do, we need to take action as well.”
For more information, visit www.drugfreenh.org, www.nhcenterforexcellence.org or www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas.
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