Statistics On Addiction In America

Whether it’s a problem with alcohol, Opioids, Cocaine, or any other substance, addiction kills thousands of Americans every year and impacts millions of lives. Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a chronic mental health condition.

Because it affects the brain’s normal functions, an SUD compels someone to repeatedly use substances or engage in behaviors even though they have harmful consequences. Addictions can destroy marriages, friendships, and careers and threaten a person’s basic health and safety.

  • Almost 21 million Americans have at least 1 addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.
  • Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.
  • Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year.
  • About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
  • More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.
  • Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.
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Statistics On Alcohol Addiction And Abuse

Alcohol is the most widely-abused substance in the US, yet alcoholism is often left untreated. An addiction to alcohol can be detrimental to a person’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

  • Every year, worldwide, alcohol is the cause of 5.3% of deaths (or 1 in every 20).
  • About 300 million people throughout the world have an alcohol use disorder.
  • On average, 30 Americans die every day in an alcohol-related car accident, and 6 Americans die every day from alcohol poisoning.
  • About 88,000 people die as a result of alcohol every year in the United States.
  • About 6% of American adults (about 15 million people) have an alcohol use disorder; only about 7% of those people ever get treatment.
  • Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to binge drink and become alcoholics.

Statistics On Opioid Addiction And Abuse

Opioids are a class of drugs which block sensations of pain and cause euphoria. They are dangerous because they pose very high risks for addiction and overdose. Opioids are an ingredient in many pain-relieving medications. Since they are controlled substances, drug traffickers also sell them illegally. Opioids, both illegal and prescribed, have caused a surge of deaths in the US in the past 2 decades.

  • About 130 Americans die every day from an Opioid overdose.
  • Since 1999, the sale of Opioid Painkillers has skyrocketed by 300%.
  • About 20% to 30% of people who take prescription Opioids misuse them.
  • About 10% of people who misuse prescription Opioids become addicted to Opioids.
  • Approximately 2.1 million Americans have an Opioid use disorder.
  • About 5% of people with an Opioid use disorder will try Heroin.

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Statistics On Heroin Addiction And Abuse

Heroin is a powerful and addictive Opioid. It is an illegal drug which poses serious risks for overdose. Heroin, especially Heroin mixed with Fentanyl (a very powerful Synthetic Opioid), has been a major contributor to the Opioid epidemic in the United States.

  • Roughly 0.3% of American adults are Heroin users.
  • There are over 100,000 new Heroin users each year.
  • More than 28% of 2019’s Opioid overdose fatalities were linked to Heroin.
  • Due to use patterns and Narcan, the rate of Heroin-linked overdose deaths fell 6% from 2018 to 2019.
  • There were 14,019 Heroin-linked deaths by overdose in 2019.
  • Though deaths have dipped recently, they still almost quintupled from 2010 to 2019.

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Statistics On Marijuana Addiction And Abuse

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug which comes from a THC-bearing plant. It is becoming increasingly legal throughout the US, both for medicine and for recreation, but it’s still not completely safe because it may be addictive and cause health problems.

  • About 30-40 million Americans smoke Marijuana every year.
  • About 43% of American adults admit to trying Marijuana.
  • About 30% of people who regularly use Marijuana have a Marijuana use disorder.
  • The average batch of Marijuana in 1990 contained less than 4% THC, but that percentage has since risen to over 12%.
  • Roughly 10% of all Marijuana users will become addicted to the drug.
  • Around 17% of all who start using the drug as minors become addicted.

Statistics On Nicotine Addiction And Abuse

As of 2019, anyone over the age of 21 in the US can easily purchase a box of cigarettes. Although cigarettes are legal and accessible, they cause a variety of fatal health conditions and are also addictive.

  • About 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes.
  • Each day, roughly 1,600 young people smoke a cigarette for the first time.
  • About 15% of American men and about 13% of American women smoke cigarettes.
  • People who are disabled, live below the poverty line, or lack a college education are more likely to smoke cigarettes.
  • Over 16 million Americans have a smoking-related illness.
  • Smoking cigarettes is the cause of over 480,000 deaths every year in the United States.

Statistics On Cocaine Addiction And Abuse

Cocaine is an illegal Stimulant. Whether it comes in the form of powder or crystal (commonly called “Crack”), Cocaine can damage organs, provoke mental disorders, and cause respiratory failure. Cocaine is also highly addictive. Some Cocaine users may become addicted after using the drug only once.

  • About 5 million Americans are regular Cocaine users.
  • A little under 2% of 8th graders had used Cocaine as of 2020.
  • In 2020, almost 1% of 8th graders had used Crack.
  • Cocaine-related fatalities have grown every year since 2013.
  • There were 14,666 such deaths in 2018.
  • Americans between the ages of 18 to 25 use Cocaine more than any other age group.

Statistics On Methamphetamine Addiction And Abuse

Methamphetamine, which is commonly called Meth, is a controlled substance which has a high potential for abuse, overdose, and addiction. As an illegal drug, Meth is usually sold as “Crystal” (white rocks or fragments) to be burned and smoked. Meth is highly addictive and dangerous for a person’s health.

  • About 774,000 Americans are regular Meth users. About 16,000 of them are between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • The DEA obtained over 117,000 pounds of Meth in 2019.
  • About 964,000 Americans are addicted to Meth.
  • Meth tested by the DEA had an average of 97.2% purity in the first half of 2019.
  • Just over 1% of 8th graders had tried Meth as of 2020.
  • Meth overdose fatalities increased almost threefold from 2015 to 2019.

Statistics On Hallucinogen Addiction And Abuse

Hallucinogens are a category of mind-altering drugs. Psilocybin Mushrooms, DMT, Mescaline, LSD, PCP, Ketamine, Ecstasy, and Salvia are all Hallucinogenic drugs.  They are all illegal and they all carry risks for traumatizing hallucinations, impaired judgment, and addiction.

  • About 1.4 million people in the United States are regular Hallucinogen users. About 143,000 of them are minors between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • Almost 8% of all 12th graders had used Hallucinogens at least once as of 2020.
  • Donors gave $17 million to Johns Hopkins for the study of Hallucinogenic therapy.
  • Roughly 20 million Americans have taken LSD.

Statistics On Inhalant Addiction And Abuse

Inhalants are a group of solvents, gases, and aerosol sprays which people inhale to get high. Inhalants are household objects like nail polish, glue, hair spray, and leather cleaner, but they can have mind-altering effects. “Huffing” Inhalants can cause a person to lose consciousness or develop addiction.

  • More than 23 million Americans have tried an Inhalant at least once in their lives.
  • About 556,000 Americans are regular Inhalant users.
  • Almost 9% of 12th graders in 2018 reported using an Inhalant.
  • Inhalants contribute to about 15% of deaths by suffocation every year.

Get Help For Addiction Today

Addiction to any substance is a serious problem. If you leave addiction untreated, it could stop your life in its tracks. Because an SUD is a progressive disorder, its effects and severity will only worsen over time without treatment.

Fortunately, there are many rehab facilities and recovery centers throughout the country where anyone can get the treatment they need to achieve sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and you need more information about what to do and where to start, contact a treatment provider today.

Published:

Author

Nathan Yerby

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  • Nathan Yerby is a writer and researcher. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

David Hampton

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  • David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.

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