Today approximately 16% of the U.S. population age 12 and over meet clinical diagnostic criteria for addiction to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs and another 32% currently use one or more of these addictive substances in ways that threaten health and safety. Together, addiction and risky substance use affect a staggering 48 percent of the nation—nearly every other American —and constitute the largest preventable and most costly public health problem we face.
Addiction is America’s number one health care and health cost problem. Approximately 30 percent of national health care spending is driven by this disease. Government spending alone on substance use and addiction is nearly $500 billion annually and 96 cents of every dollar we spend go to cope with the consequences of our failure to prevent and treat it; only 2 cents go to prevention and treatment. The human misery is incalculable.
CASAColumbia researchers work to create proven, effective approaches to keep Americans healthy and drug free.
We develop recommendations to help policymakers, schools, medical professionals and parents.
We design pilot programs to test what works in prevention and treatment.
We provide education, information and ideas to lawmakers and professionals in the criminal justice, social service, health care and education systems.
CASAColumbia is dedicated to changing the way America thinks about addiction.