What is a Risky User?

What is a risky user

What is a risky user?

Risky users do not meet the clinical criteria for addiction, but engage in use of addictive substances in ways that threaten their health and safety. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans, approximately 80 million people, are risky users.

Risky Users Are Individuals Who Aren't Addicted But:

  • Exceed the following guidelines for alcohol use:
    • Women - more than one drink a day for most women
    • Men - more than two drinks a day for most men
    • No alcohol consumption for:
      • Persons under the age of 21
      • Pregnant women
      • Individuals taking prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol
      • Individuals with certain medical conditions such as liver disease or pancreatitis that maybe negatively affected by alcohol use
      • Individuals who plan to drive, operate machinery or take part in other activities that require attention, skill or coordination; or in situations where impaired judgment could cause injury or death, like swimming
  • Misuse controlled prescription drugs
  • Use illegal drugs
  • Use tobacco or nicotine products
  • Engage in some combination of the above

Risky Business:

Risky use increases the chances of developing serious health problems, including addiction, and can result in devastating social consequences such as crime, accidents, suicide, child neglect and abuse, family dysfunction and unintended pregnancies.

CASAColumbia. (2012). Addiction medicine: Closing the gap between science and practice.  

16% Addicition

16% (40 million) of the U.S. population ages 12 and older meet clinical criteria for addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.

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