Statistical Review On Illicit Drug and Alcohol Use

January 2018

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Statistical Review On Illicit Drug and Alcohol Use

A brief look into the statistics of addiction

Every day, people continually talk about addictions and it’s many ravaging effects on the world population. It is not mere news to know that the occurrence of addictions in any and all of its forms have significantly increased or remained fairly constant over the years. It begins to look as if, the more people talk about it, the less result we get. Addictive drug and alcohol use has become so rampant that it is found amongst almost all the age groups.

Increased rate of access to illicit drugs and substance abuse in many countries, has caused the government of those countries to raise concern and worries for the international community.

According to Saint Jude Retreats (a nonprofit substance abuse counselling and rehabilitation outfit), over one million persons out of the over 18 million persons living in NYC are illicit drug users. This would amount to about 6% of the city’s population. The figures in fact have a tendency to still rise with time.

There has been a traceable relationship between substance abuse and the rate of road accidents. Many road accidents would not have occurred, if the drivers(s) involved had not driven under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Statistical reports issued by the Governor’s Highhway Safety Administration in 2017 puts 22% on the number of road drivers who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The figures are different for road accidents, as a percentage high of up to 43% of accident-injured drivers test positive for the use of illicit drugs in the United States. Thus by implication, the roads have become less safe for pedestrians and other road users. Marijuana is the most common addictive drug and it’s even cultivated in some part of the city.

Statistics on addiction sober living NYC

The addictive use of drugs and alcohol shockingly has become observable in adolescents and teenagers. This could be attributed to increasing quantity supply of those drugs in circulation as well as continued exposure and societal/peer influence. Traffic accidents is said to be a major cause of death for teenagers. About one-third of these deaths is traceable to indiscriminate drug and alcohol use (Morbidity and mortality among adolescents and young adults in the United States by Blum MD and et’ al 2014). Based on statistical reports released in 2013 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services from its national survey on drug use and health, more than half of the tested illicit drug users obtained the substance from non-medically prescribed means.

They were said to have obtained the drugs from some friends or relatives; and usually for free. We would infer that the high level of circulation of illicit drugs, could have been influenced by age group, and peer to peer distribution. There is therefore a need to thoroughly enlighten people on the necessity for sober living. Experts think proper teenage monitoring and caution would go a long way in reducing adolescent and teenage inclinations to addictive drug and alcohol use.

Bringing about a decline in statistical value for drug and alcohol use, as regards road use and accidents would require a more conscious effort on the part of government, and on the part of individuals. There is definitely clear benefits in sober living. Similar to the signs spotted in the NYC subway system, “don’t be another statistic”. Valley Spring will help you or your loved ones get connected to the best recovery services and sober living facility in NYC! Click on the link for more general information about sober homes and halfway houses.


Feel free to read out previous blog about Getting Sober: 5 Challenges of Sober Living

Getting Sober: 5 Challenges of Sober Living

No one said the road to sober living is entirely easy

The decision to stop drinking and become sober is never easy and neither is it a walk in the park that should be understated or underestimated. The process of getting sober is a slow and deliberate attempt to refrain from consuming alcohol and other drugs that eventually can lead to the point where there is no need to rely on any substances at all (other than what is medically or psychiatrically recommended by your respective licenses professionals). There are numerous obstacles that may appear in one’s path as he/she begin to entertain a life of sobriety  — some obstacles are laid out as the following:


In one of the most populated cities in the world, New York City, being sober can prove to be a Herculean task. In a city like New York where’s there are parties happening at practically all corners it may prove difficult to still the will so you don’t drink. It also doesn’t get better when you see people you know drinking freely and without a worry, it’s a sure thing that being surrounded by all that alcohol may be the temptation that may break you but if you can make it through then you will definitely succeed in staying sober.


The usual thing for people that drink a lot is that it’s a backup or a mechanism to believe that everything will be okay, at least temporary. When things prove to be hard and might even reach the point of being unbearable it’s common that one may fall back on old habits like drinking. All it takes is just one sip to begin drinking again

Challenges of sober living

Social stigma

The stigma associated with alcoholism is one of the things that may just push one over the edge and resort to drinking. The judgmental stares and whispers that follow when one identifies as an alcoholic trying to go sober can prove to be demoralizing and cause some to spiral, thinking that at least they can rely on alcohol.


Beginning the slow descent to sobriety from the high of alcohol never goes smoothly and might even affect how a person behaves, mood swings and causes them to feel irritable, uncomfortable and even nervous. This may go on for weeks at a stretch but will get better as time goes however this period is the hardest because it’s at this precise period they may feel that a bottle of wine will make it all better.


During  the process of getting sober where denial may set in, denial of how much alcohol consumed, how much was spent on alcohol, even how big a drinking problem they have. Being unable to face this truth may hinder the process if getting sober after all, there needs to be honesty to begin solving it.

Getting sober is never a straight forward path that can be done easily. It takes mental strength, will made of steel, and discipline — after all it takes just one sip to fall back into old drinking habits. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, rather the challenge will add to the reward of obtaining a better life, sober living. Valley Spring will help you or your loved one faces these challenges together. There are experienced professionals ready to pick-up your call 24/7. We offer a beautiful sober living residency and provide recovery services in NYC. For more general information about what sober homes and halfway houses check out the follow page.


Feel free to read our previous blog about How Amazing Your Life Can Be Without Substances

How Amazing Your Life Can Be Without Substances

Amazing life is possible without substances

“He sat at the edge of the beach in Manhattan, his feet delved into the moist sand, and his eyes closed as he took in the cool Manhattan breeze. He had been without substances for three months now, and these three months had been the most amazing periods he had experienced in a long while.”

Substance abuse is the door to temporal and instant ecstasy. Granted, we feel light headed, happy, relieved, and generally undaunted after an obviously not prescribed or overdose intake of drugs, but this slowly and gradually pulls us away from our loved ones and from the surface of the earth if not stopped on time. “Substances in this context include: alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, opioids, methaqualone, barbiturates, some substituted amphetamines and benzodiazepines.” Regular intake of such drugs can lead to addiction which harms us either psychologically or physically or both.

New York City (NYC) is right where life in the fast lane happens, where your mind is in its empire state. We feel we need drugs to keep us on our feet and loosen us from pain and chaos which we are not brave enough to face.  Well, it is also in this fast lane and Empire State that drug related deaths are on the toll with records of an annual drug related death of 10.7 drug deaths per 100,000 people from 2005 – 2015.

Life without drugs and sober living represented by meditating frog

Life Without Substances

Ever recalled any episodes which you put up shortly after drug intake? How irrational you acted, and how you scared people away from you. Imagine a life of living sober after you’ve committed a year plus to a sober home, where you do not have to depend on drugs to keep moving anymore, where you don’t have to be a sleeping pill addict just because you are scared to see certain bad things happen, only for these bad things to haunt you deep into the night in your dreams. When you become sober, you get to spend more time with family and friends, and complete projects you never believed you would complete. There is always a breath of new and fresh air associated with sober living.

Life is better when you begin sober living

Maintaining sobriety is very difficult, but this does not entail that it can not be done successfully. You get to experience a new life and explore your emotions with much more stability and lesser irrationality. The beauty of life without substance abuse does not end abruptly in the psychological, it transcends to the physical; a healthy lifestyle where you get to exercise often and eat right. You feel more energetic, healthier sleeping patterns are developed, the bags underneath your eyes disappear and once more your bright eyes reappear, you gain healthy weight, and when you look in the mirror, you do not see any signs of self pity and pain anymore. You are alive and killing it.

Walking around Manhattan, granted there are lives, precious lives gradually wasting away due to substance abuse, it still does not take one’s mind away from the resplendence of other lives surprisingly transformed through sober living homes and halfway houses. These lives too were once on the verge of wasting away, but the beauty of their dreams, goals, and family come to fruition is perfection in itself.

Drugs do not take away today’s pain, they only suppress them, they give you happiness only temporarily. Sober living is the key to a fulfilled life, a goal oriented life and a peaceful life, just like the Manhattan beach in the dead of the night. Speak with Valley Spring about creating your substance free life! View what it’s like at our NYC sober living residency.


Feel free to check our previous blog about The Importance of Building a Good Support System In Your Life

The Importance of Building a Good Support System In Your Life

It’s beneficial to invest time into building a solid support system

No matter how strong you are, everybody needs a support system especially during trying times like battling with addiction. Life is filled with ups and downs, which makes it all the more interesting but during this tough times like during your sober home or halfway house periods of your recovery, you need people who have your back and would support you through your worst and celebrate during your high points.

Building a support system is essential for your well-being, you would be surprised the number of years a little love and support from people would add to your lifespan. Having a support group has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have been proven to yield tremendous results and help

A support group does not have to be a large number of people, it can be just one or two important people in your life or more people depending on which you can deal with. This is because while everybody needs a support system, not everybody can open up to people easily, so having a small group of people you can depend on is necessary because receiving and giving support is a basic human need.

It does not matter if you are in New Jersey and your support system is in Manhattan, you can still lean on them. When you are trying out a sober living home or halfway house, for example, and everything looks so hard that you cannot focus, you can draw strength from your support system to get you through it. Valley Spring can help you get connected as an initial resource for building a strong support system.

Building a good support system for sober living

Here are reasons why it’s great to build a good support system in your life:

Better equipped to cope with stress

Stress is one of the main causes of depression which lead to addiction. But with a good support system, sober loving is possible because then you are better equipped to cope with stress. When you are very stressed you can talk to people who love and support you, instead of depending on drugs and alcohol.

Most times people underestimate the power of a listening ear and a ready hug, they both do wonders as a stress reliever than most stress reliever out there.

Higher Self esteem

Having someone or people who always have your back, makes you feel like you are walking on sunshine; You can be walking the busy streets of NYC feeling like you are the only one in the world. A good support system gives your self-esteem a healthy boost that makes you wonder why people need drugs and alcohol to be high when sober living can also make you that high.

Longer life span

You would be amazed the number of years a good support system would add to your lifespan. There is so much negativity in the world today and that puts a strain ion your lifespan but when you have good and positive people at your corner cheering you on in life, that eliminates stress and negative energy that would have taken a few years of your lifespan.


No man is an island, you cannot make it alone. You need people to help you sail through this journey called life. So, you need a good support system to help you thrive and remain positive even at your lowest.


Feel free to check our previous blog about The Importance Of Facing Your Fears and check out our NYC sober living residency and recovery services we provide!




The Importance Of Facing Your Fears:

How-To Face Your Fears

The fear of snakes, the fear of social rejection, the fear of darkness; these are some of the fears of people world over. As fears can be real or imagined, rational or irrational, small or mega, it would be realized that life would be a lot simpler if we all faced our fears. Sims Wyeth at Inc. put together a nice list of inspiring quotes about helping to face your fears which can be checked out here. If you’re more interested in practical ways of how to address your fears, below are ways by which we can do this:

  1. Understand that you are not the only one having your fears and take solace in this understanding.
  2. Know your fears. As it would be a waste of energy to fight aimlessly, make a mental or written list of your fears.
  3. Understand which fears are rational and which are not and decide to take a stand against the irrational ones.
  4. Believe in your abilities to overcome your fears.
  5. Understand that because fear is acquired, it can be unlearned.
  6. Whenever you find yourself in a fearful situation, ask yourself “what’s the worst that could happen?”, as this helps you put things into perspective. Then look on the bright side of things.
  7. Visualize both case scenarios. Imagine what would happen if you allow your fears supersede your intents and what would happen if you allow your will reign supreme.
  8. Taking baby steps, expose yourself to your fears. You will realize that it was not all it seemed to be after all.
  9. Rather than fuel your fears, laugh at it or use the energy, time and resources to learn something else; possibly about how others conquered their fears.
  10. Refuse to dwell on “what might or could happen”. Instead dwell on making what you want to happen a reality.
  11. Join a community of people with similar fears or talk about it with friends and family.
  12. If afraid of realities like the aftermath of sober living, seek help from a mental health professional.
  13. Think about previous times when you dealt with other fears and draw strength from these.
  14. Breathe; life is really not that hard.
  15. Fake your ability to face your fears and overcome them until you truly make it.

Man faces his fears and begins sober living

Importance of Facing Your Fears

If wondering why you should face your fears, below are reasons why you should do this:

  1. Fear limits you. Imagine that you are living in a bustling city like Manhattan or NYC, where opportunities thrive; your fear of whether or not you will be successful will prevent you from going for your goals.
  2. As you can never escape your fears, it will pay you to just face them head-on.
  3. Fear, like worry, allows for a waste of time, energy and resources.
  4. Fear keeps you imprisoned in the “what if” world, away from the here-and-now world.
  5. Fear is fruitless. As such, it should be cut-down so you can be fruitful.

With this understanding, I celebrate your courage in taking steps towards facing your fears and I wish you wholesome wellness. Valley Spring is equipped to help you or your loved ones face their fears and begin the path to a better life. We are happy to provide recovery services and sober living options in NYC. Learn more information about sober living houses.


Feel free to read our previous blog about How Addiction Affects Your Loved Ones