Galanter is director of the division of alcoholism and substance abuse at NYU Langone Medical Center/Bellevue, and a professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, in New York City. He said that while drug abuse remains at serious levels, "we have made great progress in treatment in many areas, particularly, in the early recognition of alcohol abuse and alcoholism by the general public. This has led to people seeking help before problems become much more serious."
Still, Galanter said, "much more, however, needs to be done."
The new study also "puts substance use in a societal context," noted Dr. Bruce Goldman, director of Substance Abuse Services at the Zucker Hillside Hospital of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, in Glen Oaks, N.Y. "Social norms have a very powerful impact on drug use patterns," he said, and "we need to create norms where substance use and availability, especially for young people is not acceptable."
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about drug abuse and addiction.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCES: Marc Galanter, M.D., director, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, NYU Langone Medical Center/Bellevue, and professor, psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; Bruce Goldman, M.D., director, Substance Abuse Services, Zucker Hillside Hospital, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Glen Oaks, NY; Jeffrey T. Parsons, M.D., professor, department of psychology at Hunter College, New York City; The Lancet, news release, Jan. 5, 2012
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