WASHINGTON (September 24, 2012)--Federal officials see some improvement in national substance abuse trends, but also some concerns.
Data from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show a decline in prescription drug abuse, from seven million people in 2010 to just more than six million last year, but White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske said the findings are mixed.
He said the survey shows "steady progress," but also "a troubling picture in the rise of heroin use."
He said it's "a trend that warrants close monitoring and concerted action."
Binge drinking also went up.
More than 20 million Americans, or eight percent, were classified with substance dependence or abuse, Health and Human Services substance abuse chief Pamela Hyde said.
Hyde calls it "a huge public health issue."
She said behavioral health conditions lead to more deaths than HIV-AIDS, traffic accidents and breast cancer combined.