Tag Archives: statistics

Drugs and Money: The Costs of Addiction (Guest Post)

Chances are that you know someone who currently struggling, or has struggled, with addiction. http://www.bestmastersincounseling.com/ has created an infographic detailing some of the statistics behind addiction, along with the costs and benefits of treatment.

The impact of addiction is shocking. From lost time at work to crime-related costs, addiction costs $600 billion per year. That number boils down to $1,800 per man, women, and child in the United States. $193 billion going to tobacco, $193 billion to illicit drugs, and $335 billion in alcohol.

And while you may think that addiction doesn’t affect you, 2 out of 3 drug users, are employed, and 1 in 12 full-time workers are using drugs regularly. Only 10 percent of individuals with substance abuse problems will seek treatment.

This infographic also details the cost of drugs like meth, cocaine, and prescription medications, along with the costs of jail time, treatment, and healthcare costs. For every $1 invested in substance abuse treatment, we save $7 in healthcare and criminal justice costs.

Feel free to like, comment, and share this infographic entitled “Drugs and Money: The Costs of Addiction” brought to you by http://www.bestmastersincounseling.com/.



CADD Announces 2014 NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month Theme –
“Help for Today. Hope For Tomorrow”
Alcohol Awareness – The Key to Community Change, Personal and Family Recovery
28 Years of Improving and Saving Lives Through Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. This April, NCADD highlights the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences.

With this year’s theme, “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow,” the month of April will be filled with local, state, and national events directed toward educating people about the prevention and treatment of alcoholism. Local NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and countless other community organizations will sponsor a host of activities that create awareness and encourage individuals and families to get help for alcohol-related problems.

Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous—both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors.

This year’s awareness campaign will place a special emphasis on underage drinking, a problem that costs $62 billion every year. The fact remains that alcohol is more likely to kill young people than all illicit drugs combined; even more startling: annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured. 7,000 American kids are taking their first drink every day, all of whom are under the age of 16. One-fourth of children have alcohol-use disorders in their own family.

“Underage drinking is a complex issue,” says Greg Muth, chairperson of the NCADD Board of Directors, “one that can only be solved through a sustained and cooperative effort. As a nation, we need to wake up to the reality that for some, alcoholism and addiction develop at a young age and that intervention, treatment, and recovery support are essential for them and their families,” says Muth. “We can’t afford to wait any longer.” 

Of course, we understand that alcohol abuse is really a systemic problem affecting the entire country, including every demographic. To combat this, we must take strong preventive measures, but also be aware of the signs of alcohol abuse so as to identify and assist those with problems.

The signs are many, and not always apparent. Those that have an alcohol problem often neglect their responsibilities at home, work or school. They also drink while engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving. Abusers also commonly drink as a way to relax and “unwind,” all the while causing more problems because of their alcoholism. This abuse results in a high tolerance, and eventually can lead to physical/psychological addiction.

Alcohol abusers may become dependent on drinking. When they do stop, they often experience short-term withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, delirium, tremors and general difficulty performing tasks. For these abusers, alcohol goes from simply a way to relax, to a necessary activity in order to get through their everyday life. Some addicts become quite skilled at hiding their addiction until the inevitable unraveling takes place.

Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their environment–peers, family, and availability.  But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics.  Alcoholism and drug dependence are not moral issues, are not a matter of choice or a lack of willpower.  Plain and simple, some people’s bodies respond to the effects of alcohol and drugs differently. 

Research has shown conclusively that family history of alcoholism or drug addiction is in part genetic and not just the result of the family environment.  And, millions of Americans are living proof, based on personal, firsthand experience, that alcoholism and drug addiction run in families, plain and simple.

 Genes provide the information that directs how our bodies respond at the cellular level.  Research indicates that over 99% of our genes are the same and the 1% that are different account for visible differences (hair color, height, etc.) and invisible differences, such as our risk of diabetes, heart disease or addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Therefore, our health is the result of the interaction between genes and environment.  As an example, our risk of developing high blood pressure is influenced by both genetics and environment, including diet, stress, and exercise.   Certain diseases, like sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis, are caused by an error in a single gene.  However, most diseases, such as alcoholism and drug dependence, are considered genetically complex and involve variations in a number of different genes.

“Alcohol dependence and dependence on other drugs frequently co-occur, and strong evidence suggests that both disorders are, at least in part, influenced by genetic factors.  In recent years, researchers have identified numerous genes as affecting risk for dependence on alcohol and drugs.  These include genes involved in alcohol metabolism as well as in the transmission of nerve cell signals and modulation of nerve cell activity.”

Drinking alcoholic beverages affects different persons in different ways.  Some become very happy while others may see the “down side” of everthing.  Alcohol is a depressant, and certain genes in ones chemistry may indicate that they should not choose this as a way of relaxing.  Studies show that there are genetics involved, but I have known people who had problems with alcohol that had families that didn’t drink at all.  A physician once explained that some people enjoy drinking beer the same as others would enjoy a glass of tea.  

Many times you can’t get someone to seek help unless they want to get help.  Do what you can to encourage that person to find counseling or other programs; if it’s a young person, try to help them face the fact that they have a problem before they or someone else gets hurt. 

Sources: NCADD;  TheGazette 



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s theme this year is a warning to all drivers to drive sober at all times, especially through the holiday season.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Association , MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the Governors Highway Safety Association are all supporting this campaign.  Local law enforcement agencies are also involved. 

Every day, no matter where you live, you see news reports of persons being involved in DWI crashes.  Regardless of the age of the driver, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland stated, “It is unacceptable and downright offensive that anyone would get behind the wheel drunk, let along have twice the limit of alcohol in their body.”  

Deaths resulting from crashes involving drunk drivers increased last year by 4.6 per cent, costing 10,322 lives – compared to 9.8658 in 2011.  The majority of drivers who were involved in those crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.  This is almost double the legal limit.  Eight hundred and thirty persons were killed during last year’s holiday because of drunk driving crashes. 

It is a known fact that drunk driving is often a symptom of a larger problem: alcohol misuse and abuse. The more than 10,000 persons who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2012 account for one person every 51 seconds!  The cost of alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes totals an estimated $37 billion every year.  And those costs don’t account for the devastation caused to families whose loved ones are victims.

Before you take that holiday trip, think about defensive driving more than ever.  Your family could be the victims of a drunk driver.  Watch for swerving or any other suspicious driving antics that could endanger others.  Call 9-1-1 and report your suspicions to law enforcement. 

This crackdown campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” began December 13 and is enforced through the New Year’s holiday.  Over $7.5 million dollars have been spent for public advertising to raise awareness and support law enforcement activities in every state in an effort to reduce drunk driving deaths.  This message will be featured in a new public service announcement featuring MGM Pictures/Columbia Pictures’ RoboCop, in theaters February 12, 2014. 

This year, let’s lower those statistics by being more careful and watching out for the other guy.  If you plan to indulge in alcoholic beverages during parties, be sure you have a designated driver, or get someone to call a cab for you.  Do not attempt to drive your vehicle.  Don’t spoil someone else’s holiday.

Source: NHTSA



It may not seem like the most cheerful of subjects, but a website is available that highlights just how dangerous roads can be.

Not just in America, not just in Europe and not just in Africa; roads are deadly places wherever you are in the world. This research, courtesy of The Pulitzer Centre, looks at the problem in brilliant detail – allowing you to see just how many people meet their match on the roads in a single year.

Gruesome yes, but fascinating reading none the less; as not only are you presented with an interactive map that allows you to scroll over the various nations, but also a multitude of facts and figures about the road traffic accidents that occur in that particular nation.

As well as being given a statistical breakdown of the different types of fatal accident that occurred in that country in the past 12 months, you are also presented with a final percentage of the death toll. Reasons for the fatalities are also given – such as failing to wear a seatbelt, helmet and even alcohol intake and high speed.

One thing that is startlingly obvious when looking at the figures is that the former Soviet states have certainly paid the price for higher vehicle ownership and a greater number of drivers over the past decade. The death toll on Russian roads, for example, is still about five times higher than what is seen in most European Union countries and about double the number for the United States.

This may act as a stark warning to the likes of China, who have seen sales of motor vehicles rocket in recent years.  The site also highlights that it’s not just drivers of vehicles who suffer in road accidents; pedestrians make up a large amount of the total in most counties.

In New York City for example, pedestrians account for 12 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. Not a shocking amount considering the density of the population – but still a huge number. This is despite attempts by several mayors to reduce the risk of accidents by outlawing activities such as “jay walking” for example.

For all the bad news there are some pieces of good news regarding road deaths that certainly make for happier reading.

Take Sweden. The Scandinavian country had only 266 road fatalities in 2010, a rate of 3 deaths per 100,000 citizens, and the lowest among industrialized nations. Though an explanation is not given, this impressive figure can only be put down to greater road safety awareness among drivers and pedestrians.

And what about the one-time bad boys when it came to motoring offences, Australia? They have cleaned up their act too. With some of the most reckless drivers in the world and highest death rates going some 50 years ago; strict enforcement of safe driving laws has resulted in an 80 percent decline in road fatalities since.

For a little lighter relief and general road traffic trivia there are some more educational facts on display other than just what country has the most road deaths and which nations have improved.

Like who knew that in Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Commission only recently made it compulsory for new drivers to take driving lessons and pass a test before obtaining a licence; in the past you could simply buy a licence?

Read this site at your own risk, but don’t let it put you off; driving is undoubtedly safer now than it ever was.

If nothing else, this research shows the contrast in attitudes towards motoring and road safety across the globe and how those attitudes can be changed with greater awareness and education.

Take a look for yourself at www.roadskillmap.com.

Written by journalist and blogger Matthew Crist in association with TSR Injury Law, the Minnesota auto accident attorney. For more information on TSR Injury Law please visit our website at www.tsrinjurylaw.com.


 By Kelly Kovacic  

Most people need a vehicle to survive their daily lifestyles, but riding a motorcycle actually is a lifestyle.  Many people have heard at least one individual say that wearing a helmet makes someone look less cool, but many states have taken this option out of the equation altogether by requiring motorcycle helmets.

Unfortunately, not all states require riders to wear helmets. For example in Florida, any riders 21 and older, who are covered by medical insurance, are not required to wear a helmet. This often leads to serious injuries, when someone is involved in a motorcycle accident West Palm Beach attorneys understand these Florida laws and know how to help. Only when an individual knows all of the facts related to helmet use, will they understand the risk they’re taking without one.

Types of Injuries Sustained

Being involved in a motorcycle crash can cause numerous injuries; this is true whether a rider has a helmet on or not. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Unfortunately, not wearing a helmet increases the chances of much more serious injuries and the severity of the following:

Head Injuries

Head injuries cause some of the most severe damage a person’s body can experience, and sadly, they’re almost always preventable. Motorcycle helmets are meant to take the brunt of the force when a biker’s head hits the pavement. Studies have shown that simply walking into something solid can cause a skull fracture, so just imagine what hitting the pavement at 55 MPH can do to a human skull without a helmet. Severe head injuries can cause brain damage, coma or death.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries are one of the most feared injuries in the world, and not wearing a helmet when on a motorcycle can increase the risk of experiencing one. Helmets not only protect a biker’s head; they help keep their head stationary. If a person’s head remains stationary during an accident, their chances of not sustaining a serious neck or spinal injury increases. Unfortunately, those who do experience traumatic spinal injuries can face partial paralysis, full on paraplegia or even death. 

Serious Facial Abnormalities

Unfortunately, even riders who don’t suffer serious brain or spinal injuries can have their faces completely destroyed by not wearing a helmet. Most bikers have felt the pain of a little road rash. Unfortunately, a person’s face sliding across the pavement will cause much more damage than a simple case of road rash. Many riders have to get extensive reconstructive surgery after wrecking without a helmet. 

Statistics Related to Non-Helmet Use

Reading off a list of possible injuries usually isn’t enough to convince bikers to wear a helmet. Luckily, the statistics related to helmets and motorcycle wrecks are sometimes enough to sway a rider’s decision. 

Only around twelve percent of national motorcycle deaths occur in states where helmets are mandatory. A Michigan study found that 16.2 percent of helmeted bikers suffered incapacitating injuries after an accident. This number was 24.8 percent for non-helmeted riders. The Michigan study also found that 23 percent of helmeted riders suffered no injuries after a wreck compared to only 17.8 percent of non-helmeted bikers.

Riding around on a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating and freeing experiences that a person can have. Unfortunately, people who enjoy this freedom without a helmet often pay the ultimate price. Anyone who has been injured or has had a family member injured in a motorcycle wreck needs to contact a personal injury attorney quickly. Medical bills can pile up quickly, and even though some states may not protect their bikers, many attorneys will. 

Kelly Kovacic has many friends that ride motorcycles, and so she stays on top of the latest motorcycle laws. For anyone who has been in a motorcycle accident attorneys Steinger, Iscoe & Greene have many years of experience handling these cases. Insurance companies try to label motorcyclists as reckless drivers, so having an attorney to protect your rights is a wise decision. 

Thank you, Kelly, for this information that will hopefully convince riders to wear helmets at all times.  There are many other parts of protective gear for riders, gloves, leg protection, boots, and even high-visibility safety vests that can be slipped over their jacket, in order to help them be more visible.


  • December marks the observance of a very important campaign: 3-D Month: Drunk and Driving Prevention Month!  Pardon the pun, but the statistics on alcohol-related accidents are truly staggering!  Of 42,000 people who die on U.S. Highways annually, more than 18,000 lives are taken due to drunk drivers.  One in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident in their lifetime.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every day in the U.S. 36 people die, and approximately 700 are injured, in car crashes involving an impaired driver. While some crashes might involve other factors as well, it’s probably safe to say that most of that death, and most of that pain, was entirely preventable.  Think about this: Getting behind the wheel when you’re impaired not only puts your life at risk, but the lives of so many others, possibly children. 

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has an organized campaign to improve conditions on the roadways.  Some projects they have been able to get approved are:

o       High Visibility Drunk Driving Crackdowns – Twice yearly during high-risk periods such as Labor Day and the December Holidays. 

o       Sobriety Checkpoints – Evaluating drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment at specific points of the roadways.  Signs may be posted in advance.  Average time of stop would be the equivalent of a traffic stoplight.

o       Smart Vehicle Technology-Within the next five years, car manufacturers may have developed DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety).

o       Ignition Interlocks – Convicted drivers have to blow into a device about the size of a cell phone that is connected to the starting circuit of the vehicle.

We worry about drunk drivers, drowsy drivers, and other risk-takers on the highways, such as drugged drivers.  Driving under the influence of prescription drugs can be deadly.  Medications act on systems in the brain that impair driving ability.  Warnings against the operation of machinery (including motor vehicles) for a specific time after use are included with the medications.  How many pay attention to those warnings?  If prescription drugs are taken without medical supervision (i.e., when abused), impaired driving and other harmful outcomes can result.

Drugs acting on the brain can alter perception, cognition, attention, balance, coordination, reaction time, and other faculties required for safe driving. The effects of specific drugs of abuse differ depending on their mechanisms of action, the amount consumed, the history of the user, and other factors. The principal concern regarding drugged driving is that driving under the influence of any drug that acts on the brain could impair one’s motor skills, reaction time, and judgment.

Behavioral effects of these medications vary widely, depending not only on the drug, but also on the person taking it.  Anti-anxiety drugs can dull alertness and slow reaction time.  Others, like stimulants, can encourage risk-taking and alter the ability to judge distances.  Mixing prescriptions or taking them with alcohol can worsen impairment and sharply increase the risk of crashing.

Almost nightly, we hear on the news about some drunk driving or drugged driving accident where innocent persons lost their lives, many times by a drunk wrong-way driver.  The mystery is how the guilty person has already been involved in similar incidents and is still driving.  It is now time that we recognize and address the dangers that can occur with drugged and drunk driving, a dangerous activity that puts us all at risk.  Drunk and Drugged driving is a public health concern because it puts not only the driver at risk, but also passengers and others who share the road.  

When you are celebrating the holidays, use common sense if drinking, and give a sober friend the keys if you overindulge.  Designated drivers play a valuable part toward the protection of their friends who are impaired, as well as the innocent folks in the other lane.  If you don’t have a designated driver, call someone, or take a cab.  As the saying goes, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk or Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Medications!”



Written by Georgina Clatworthy

The cost of personal injuries that occur in the workplace is the second largest expense to any business. These costs include insurance premiums, health and safety measures to prevent injury, and payments made to employees that have been injured. For the benefit of company and employee, reducing the number of incidents that occur is always a top priority. 

While there are many ways in which you can improve safety measures around the workplace, the best way to make effective change is to use raw data. Our attorneys Charleston SC based advise that using accident records and statistics from your company, and those in similar industries, will help create a picture of what “really” takes place in the work environment and how to address those concerns.

Why “How It Should Be” And “How It Is” Can Be Very Different

Many businesses are surprised when someone is injured on the job when they believed all the correct safety measures were in place. The truth is, however, that what often makes sense on paper does not apply to the workplace situation. People are in fact only people, and when an event arises that poses a risk, each will react differently. It is nearly impossible to prepare for every contingency, which is why researching work accident data is so important to prevent further accidents.

  • Reviewing accident data: When you review accident data, you will be able to gain insightful knowledge of how the event occurred, even if safety measures were in place. You will be able to read the event from the employee’s perspective. The data provides you with useful information on how to change your safety standards or create additional employee training measures to avoid this type of event from occurring again.
  • Look at other industries: Utilizing information from other industries that are the same or similar to the business in question will also provide significant information. This data will provide an overall look at workplace events in a “real world” manner. This information is invaluable, and will provide the best source of knowledge to create a safe work environment.

Using Accident Records And Statistics Has Proven Very Successful

As more companies take the time to review this type of data, and use it for to their advantage, the overall amount of workplace injuries has decreased. In the last decade, the overall number of claims filed for temporary or permanent disability has dropped in regards to workplace events. This is very encouraging for both employees and businesses.  Employees that feel safe at work are more productive. When productivity rises, the business and the employees benefit in many ways. It is an overall good situation.

In the end, raw data provides the right type of information needed to create a safe workplace. This data may be as simple as showing a need for ergonomic office furniture to reduce lower back pain and carpal tunnel claims, or as important as showing a need for additional heavy equipment training. 

Use of this type of data has already shown a reduction in workplace related claims across every industry, which is beneficial to all parties involved. Reduced injuries and claims strengthen employee confidence and lowers operating expenses. 

Georgina Clatworthy is a legal writer interested in topics relating to personal injury and accidents.  She contributes this article on behalf of Howell and Christmas, a firm of attorneys Charleston SC based.  Workplace injuries can account for a large number of the total injury claims made across the USA every year.  Consulting with an experienced attorney, should an injury occur at work or somewhere else, will ensure you not only receive the damages you deserve but also that your rights are protected throughout the claims process.



The mission of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is to reduce the following statistics by getting drivers and motorcyclists to change their behaviors once they get behind the wheel or on the streets: approximately 1,700 fatalities and 840,000 injuries annually occur due to vehicle crashes off public highways in the United States.   

Their theme for the period of December 16th through January 2nd is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”  Distracted driving accounts for many injuries and deaths each year.  If persons have parties to attend, they should always have a designated driver or know how they are going to get home and not get behind the wheel.  There are many causes of distracted driving, such as not paying attention to driving safely, cell phone use, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or letting the mind wander about other things, rather than driving. 

The National Safety Council estimates that there will be approximately 287 traffic fatalities and 28,700 medically consulted injuries that will occur during the Christmas holiday.  Their estimates for the New Year’s holiday are approximately 297 traffic fatalities and 29,700 medically consulted injuries.  The total of the two holidays add up to far too many accidents.  The NSC also states that seat belts are 45 per cent effective in preventing injuries.  So, please buckle up, drive sober and safely, and get to your holiday destination and back home safe and secure, and don’t become a statistic. 

Not only during the holidays, but during the winter, please think about following these tips:

  •          Keep your vehicles clear of ice and snow.  The key to good driving is good vision.
  •          Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars.
  •          Be extra alert.
  •          Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  •          If you are not accustomed to driving in icy conditions, use extreme caution.  

What if you were trapped on the road because of weather conditions?  Here are tips to follow:

  •          Keep your cell phone charged so you can call for help.
  •          Stay in your car and wait for help.
  •          Run the engine for short periods of time to stay warm.
  •          Make sure your exhaust is clear of snow.
  •          Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine to signal rescuers.
  •          Hang a brightly colored piece of cloth or piece of clothing from your car.
  •          Exercise from time to time by moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.
  •          Always carry blankets and a supply of water and snacks, just in case. 

Please use care when driving during this season, as traffic will be heavier than usual; allow plenty of time to travel and take frequent stops.  We at Blog4Safety and Texas America Safety Company wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday season.