Media Kit | The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

Media Kit

Media Kit

Designed to help reporters get a better understanding of CASAColumbia, the media kit includes a fact sheet, list of experts, history of the organization, quick links and more.

CASAColumbia Fact Sheet
  • CASAColumbia was founded in 1992 by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Carter administration and Chief Domestic Advisor to former President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was created to focus on addiction and substance use rather than any particular substance. Califano organized under one roof the skills needed to assess the impact of all substances in all sectors of society
  • CASAColumbia’s mission is to connect science with policy and practice to better the lives of all people impacted by substance use and addiction. Our vision is to create lasting solutions that free communities from the devastation of substance use and addiction
  • To date, CASAColumbia has published over 80 policy reports, white papers, manuals and books on a variety of topics, including adolescent substance use, addiction treatment, substance use in America’s prisons and women and addiction
  • CASAColumbia has a staff of over 50 professionals with expertise in fields including addiction and substance use, business, communications, education, epidemiology, government, journalism, law, marketing, psychology, public administration, public health, public policy, social work, sociology, sociomedical science and statistics
  • Since its inception, CASAColumbia has published over 200 articles in scientific journals and our staff has delivered over 440 presentations at scientific conferences and professional discussion groups
Fast Facts for Media
Addiction and Substance Use Facts:
  • Addiction is a complex disease with behavioral characteristics
  • 40 million Americans ages 12 and older have substance problems. Addiction and substance abuse affect more Americans than heart conditions, diabetes or cancer
  • Another 80 million people engage in risky use of addictive substances in ways that threaten public health and safety, but do not meet the clinical criteria for this disease
  • The earlier substance use starts, the greater the risk of addiction
Teenage Addiction Statistics:
  • 75% of all high school students have used addictive substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine; 1 in 5 has a substance problem
  • Almost half (46%) of all high school students currently use addictive substances
  • 12% of all high school students and 1 in 3 current substance users have a substance problem
  • Addiction is a developmental disease: more than 90% of people with with a substance problem began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before age 18; more than 96% began using these substances before the age of 21
  • 1 in 4 Americans who began using any addictive substance before age 18 has a substance problem, compared to 1 in 25 Americans who started using at age 21 or older
  • 46% of children under age 18 live in a household where someone age 18 or older is smoking, drinking excessively, misusing prescription drugs or using illegal drugs
Screening, Intervention and Treatment:
  • Addiction can be prevented and treated using a wide range of evidence-based screening, intervention and treatment tools and practices
  • Screening and brief interventions are appropriate for all substance users whereas medications and therapies are usually necessary for those with  addiction and substance abuse
  • 7 in 10 people with the chronic diseases of high blood pressure, major depression and diabetes receive treatment, but only about 1 in 10 people who need treatment for substance problems receive any form of care. Of those who do receive treatment, most do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care
  • There are no clearly delineated, consistent and regulated national standards that stipulate who may provide addiction treatment in the U.S.; standards vary by state and by payer
  • Most medical professionals who should be providing treatment are not sufficiently trained to diagnose or treat addiction, and most of those providing addiction treatment are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based services
  • 44% of all referrals to publicly funded addiction treatment come from the justice system while less than 6% come from health care providers
Cost of Addiction and Substance Use:
  • Addiction, substance use and abuse are the largest preventable and most costly health problems facing the U.S. today, responsible for more than 20% of deaths in the U.S.
  • Addiction, substance use and abuse cause or contribute to more than 70 other conditions requiring medical care, including cancer, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy complications, cirrhosis, ulcers and trauma, and account for one-third of all hospital in-patient costs
  • Addiction, substance use and abuse cause or contribute to a wide range of costly social consequences, including crime, accidents, suicide, child neglect and abuse, family dysfunction, unintended pregnancies and lost work productivity
  • Total costs to federal, state and local governments of addiction, substance use and abuse are at least $468 billion per year – almost $1,500 for every person in America
  • Of every dollar state and federal governments spend on substance problems only 2 cents goes to prevention and treatment while 96 cents pays for the consequences of our failure to prevent and treat this problem
  • In 2010, only $28 billion (1%) of total health care costs was is less than the amount spent on treating diabetes ($44 billion), cancer ($87 billion) or heart conditions ($107 billion), each of which affects far fewer people in the U.S.
  • Immediate costs per year of teen substance use include an estimated $68 billion associated with underage drinking and $14 billion in substance-related juvenile justice costs
  • Underage drinkers and adult drinkers, who have an alcohol problem, consume between 37.5% and 48.8% of the value of all alcohol sold in the U.S.

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