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Drug Addiction In The United States

Teenage Drug Abuse Statistics

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These are the major highlights of the drug abuse statistics pertaining to teenagers in America:

  • Substance abuse among kids in 8th grade heightened by 61% between 2016 and 2020.
  • An estimated 62% of teens have indulged in alcohol abuse.
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are the most commonly abused drugs by American teenagers.
  • Roughly two-thirds of kids have consumed alcohol by 12th grade.
  • An estimated 50% of kids from 9th grade through 12th-grade report misusing marijuana.
  • From 9th grade through 12th grade, roughly 4 in every 10 kids reported smoking cigarettes.
  • Roughly 2 in every 10 kids in 12th grade reported usage of medicine without a prescription.
  • An estimated 50% of adolescents have indulged in substance or drug abuse at least once.
  • About 43% of teens in college indulge in the usage of illicit drugs.
  • Roughly 86% of adolescents are familiar with individuals who indulge in marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, or other forms of drugs during school hours.
  • Drug Overdose Death Statistics

    Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Drug overdose can occur in people addicted to drugs and those who are not.

    After the number of fatal overdoses across the U.S. fell in 2018, data from 2019 showed a sharp increase, with 2020 estimated to be the deadliest year on record.

    What recent data on drug overdoses in the United States shows:

    Rates for overdose deaths involving specific drugs:

    • Over 50 percent of psychostimulant-related overdose deaths involve opioids.
    • Synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as fentanyl, are involved in over 70 percent of all drug overdose deaths.

    The scope of drug overdose fatalities in the United States long-term:

    • Nearly 841,000 people have died due to fatal drug overdose since 1999.
    • From 2010 to 2019, drug overdose deaths have more than doubled, from 38,329 deaths in 2010 to over 70,000 in 2019.

    Increased drug overdose death rates in 2020:

    • Drug overdose deaths were up 11.4 percent in the first four months of 2020 compared to the same period the previous year.
    • Approximately 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred between June 2019 and May 2020, with the largest increase recorded between March and May of 2020.
    • The year of 2020termed by some as the pandemic yearis estimated to be the deadliest year for drug overdose deaths on record in the United States.

    Building State Local And Tribal Capacity

    CDC launched the multiyear Overdose Data to Action cooperative agreement in September 2019. OD2A supports recipients in collecting in-depth data on drug overdoses, and to use those data to inform prevention and public health response efforts. Funded recipients include state, territorial, county, and city health departments. OD2A builds on the successes of previous programs, and as it moves into another year of funding, it continues to address the evolving drug crisis.

    As part of OD2A, 66 recipients will work on strategies that focus on data collection and implementation of prevention programs. To learn more about OD2A, visit CDCs State Information page.

    Not all overdoses have to end in death. Everyone has a role to play.

    • Learn about the risks of opioids.
    • Learn about naloxone, its availability, and how to use it.
    • Help people struggling with opioid use disorder to find the right care and treatment.

    Learn more about recognizing and reversing overdoses on CDCs Overdose Prevention webpage.

    SAMHSAs National Helpline is a great resource to share with someone who may have a substance use disorder. Call 1-800-662-HELP or check out SAMHSAs Behavioral Treatment Services Locatorexternal icon.

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    A Snapshot Of Historical Drug Trends

    2011 brought some progress in the fight against drug abuse. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration presented statistics that demonstrated a substantial dip in drug use among teens in virtually every substance category. This reduction in the use of illegal substances by youth meant police could allocate their enforcement resources to other age groups, while prevention programs could claim credit-and funding-after a successful decade of outreach to young people.Still, the numbers werent universally positive. The use of amphetamines increased among high school seniors to a level of 8.2 percent, according to NIDA. While that statistic alone could have been influenced by several factors, over-scheduling and intensified academic competition were prime suspects in this rise. Among high school students, OxyContin use for non-medical purposes neither rose nor fell. The leveling off suggests that educational programs might have had some moderate success but the fight was nowhere near finished.

    People Suffering From Addiction Receive Punishment More Often Than Treatment

    Sentencing by State 2

    Addiction is the only medical illness thats criminalized, but punishment does not reduce drug use or overdoses.

    Approximately 137,000 people are in state prisons or jails in the United States on any given day for drug possession, often for possessing small quantities of illegal drugs. And penalties are doled out inequitably: Racial and ethnic minorities, especially Black and Latinx Americans, are significantly more likely to be arrested and receive stronger sentences for drug-related offenses.

    More than half of those in state prisons and two-thirds of people awaiting sentencing in jail exhibit problematic substance use, or meet the criteria for addiction. Whats more, while people with substance use disorders serve jail time, they have incredibly limited access to evidence-based treatments.

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    Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics

    Non-medical use and abuse of prescription drugs is a growing health problem in the United States. Annually, more people die from prescribed opioid pain relievers than all illegal drugs combined. Legal access, combined with a culture of implicitly trusting a doctors opinion, have led to a sharp increase in emergency medicine visits attributable to prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse may soon be the largest substance abuse problem in America: ER visits due to prescription drug abuse approximately doubled in the 6 year period from 2004-2009.

    Overdoses on prescription drugs are the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. In 2012, there were 33,175 unintentional drug overdose deaths 53% were linked to pharmaceutical use . 72% of the deaths attributable to pharmaceuticals were related to opioids, indicating the tragic consequences of prescription misuse or abuse.

    What Are The Socioeconomic Consequences

    The opioid epidemic is having devastating consequences on other aspects of public health, causing high rates of hepatitis C, HIV, and other diseases, mainly due to shared syringes. Meanwhile, mothers can pass an opioid dependency on to their children if they use opioids while pregnant. Incidences of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or withdrawal symptoms experienced by newborns exposed to drugs while in the womb, jumped by more than 80 percent between 2010 and 2017. The opioid crisis likely also contributed to an uptick in the number of children in foster care.

    Opioids have also taken a toll on the economy: The CDC calculates that opioid misuse costs the country some $78 billion per year, a tally that includes costs from health care, lost productivity, treatment programs, and legal expenses. In 2017 alone, the cost of opioid misuse and fatal overdoses was estimated to be around $1 trillion. Testifying before the U.S. Senate in 2017, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, then chair of the Federal Reserve, linked the opioid epidemic to among prime-age workers. Late Princeton University economist Alan Krueger wrote that it could account for 20 percent of the among men and 25 percent among women from 1999 to 2015.

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    Drug Abuse Among Veterans

    Mental illness and substance abuse is relatively common among military veterans.

    • 7% of veterans struggle with illegal drug use compared to 5.3% of the general population in the US over age 18.
    • 80% struggle with alcohol abuse, and 7% have an issue with both alcohol and illegal drugs.
    • 7% of the veteran population has a serious mental illness compared to 14.4% of adults over 18.
    • 505,000 veterans misuse prescription pain relievers compared to 59,000 who used heroin.
    • 10% of veterans between the ages of 18-25 misuse prescription pain relievers compared to 5.5% of the general population in the US in the same age group.

    Statistics On Nicotine Addiction And Abuse

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    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.
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    Statistics On Prescription Drug Misuse And Addiction

    Overview of prescription drug abuse rates:

    • More than one million people misused prescription stimulants, 1.5 million misused tranquilizers, and 271,000 reported misusing prescription sedatives in 2017.
    • In 2017, an estimated 18 million Americans aged 12 and older reporting misusing prescription drugs in the last year.

    Sedative/tranquilizer abuse rates:

    • About 681,000 people had a prescription sedative or tranquilizer use disorder in 2019.

    Prescription stimulant abuse rates:

    • More than 550,000 people were dependent on or addicted to prescription stimulant drugs.

    Amphetamine misuse rates:

    • The misuse of prescription drugs like Adderall is highest among young adults, who will misuse these drugs to improve focus, boost energy, and suppress appetite.

    The Face Of Drug Addiction In The United States

    With drug abuse in America being so rampant again, its safe to say that there are no demographics that are immune to the temptation of drug abuse. However, there are some specific groups who have seen significant increases in drug consumption over the past decade. The biggest change in drug use in America has been among groups that arent typically viewed as demographics prone to substance abuse.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the gaps in heroin use between men and women and rich and poor have narrowed throughout the 21st century. From 2002 to 2013, the rate of heroin use among women increased 100 percent. During the same time, the rate of heroin use among people in households making $50,000 or more annually increased 60 percent.

    Women:

    Women are the fastest-growing demographic of alcohol and drug addiction in the United States, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence . As many as 4.5 million women over the age of 12 have a substance use disorder , 3.5 million misuse prescription drugs and 3.1 million regularly abuse illicit drugs. Among girls ages 12-17, nonmedical use of prescription painkillers, alcohol, methamphetamine and many other illicit drugs now either match or exceed that of boys the same age.

    Of the 6.5 million Americans who misused or abused prescription drugs in 2013, more than half were female.

    Affluent:

    Baby Boomers:

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    Dependence Addiction & Mental Health

    Non-sanctioned/non-medical/non-prescribed use of these controlled substances is considered drug abuse. They are likely to create physical or psychological dependence.

    • 9.5 million or 3.8% of adults over the age of 18 have both a substance abuse disorder and a metal illness.
    • SUDs affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over.
    • Most common disorders are related to marijuana and prescription pain relievers.
    • Major Depressive Episodes affect 3.5 million adolescents and 4.6 million young adults nationwide.
    • 51.5 million or 20.6% of adults over the age of 18 have a mental illness.
    • 13.1 million or 5.2% of adults have a serious mental illness.
    • 358,000 or 1.5% of all adolescents in the US have had both an SUD and an MDE within the last year.
    • 1.2% of all adolescents had both an SUD and MDE resulting in severe impairment.
    • 8.5% of adolescents with MDE were more likely to binge drink than those without .
    • 32.7% of adolescents with ME were more likely to use an illegal drug than those without .
    • Among adolescents with both an MDE and SUD, 65.7% received either substance abuse treatment at a specialty facility or mental health services.
  • In 2018, 3.7% or 9.2 million of all adults aged 18 and older in the US had both an AMI and at least one SUD in the past year.
  • 3.2 million adults had co-occurring SMI and an SUD in the past year.
  • 31% of adults with AMI and 32.3% of adults with SMI were binge drinkers .
  • 49.4% of adults with SMI 36.7% of adults with AMI used illegal drugs in 2018.
  • Treatment For Drug Abuse And Addiction Is Delivered In Many Different Settings Using A Variety Of Behavioral And Pharmacological Approaches

    Youth Drug Use Across America

    Drug addiction is a complex disorder that can involve virtually every aspect of an individual’s functioningin the family, at work and school, and in the community.

    Because of addiction’s complexity and pervasive consequences, drug addiction treatment typically must involve many components. Some of those components focus directly on the individual’s drug use others, like employment training, focus on restoring the addicted individual to productive membership in the family and society , enabling him or her to experience the rewards associated with abstinence.

    Treatment for drug abuse and addiction is delivered in many different settings using a variety of behavioral and pharmacological approaches. In the United States, more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment facilities provide counseling, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, and other types of services to persons with substance use disorders.

    Along with specialized drug treatment facilities, drug abuse and addiction are treated in physicians’ offices and mental health clinics by a variety of providers, including counselors, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers. Treatment is delivered in outpatient, inpatient, and residential settings. Although specific treatment approaches often are associated with particular treatment settings, a variety of therapeutic interventions or services can be included in any given setting.

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    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.

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    Underage Drug Addiction In The United States

    Teenage drug addiction has become a menace in the United States. As kids advance into pre-pubescence and adolescence, teenage substance abuse is one of the issues every parent worries about. Substances severely abused by teenage addicts include alcohol, tobacco, , and so many more. However, parents can play a role in curbing substance abuse in the teenage years by conferring with their pediatricians. It is enough to read information about the long-term effects of use to understand why it is so dangerous, extremely for immature bodies and mental health. Also, there is a geographic tendency. That is why it will be useful to read about the highest drug use cities to ensure that your city is safe.

    Stress And Other Mental Health Issues

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    One of the leading factors in drug abuse is stress and mental health. Oftentimes, an individual will become addicted to a drug because of the dopamine release most drugs cause. Once dopamine is released in the brain, a person will feel pleasure, which temporarily eliminates negative feelings and stress.

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    Drug Abuse Among Age Groups

    While younger people are more likely to use drugs, the rate of drug use among people over 40 is increasing faster than it is among younger age grups.

    • The drug-related death rate for users over 50 increases 3% annually.
    • 75% of deaths from drug use disorders among users aged 50 years and older are caused by opioids.
    • 6% of drug deaths among 50-plus users are from cocaine and amphetamines, and 13% are from other drugs.
    • 35% of college students indicated they use illegal drugs instead of prescription drugs.
    • 93% of college students who use illegal drugs use marijuana.
    • 37% use cocaine and 36% use hallucinogens.

    Drug Abuse Statistics And Addiction Research

    Drug abuse results in behavioral and biological health issues that affect individuals, families, and communities. Economic estimates indicate consequences from drug abuse approach 20% of our federal budget. Drug use is also highly correlated with crime, making the drug issue one of public health and safety.

    Addiction researchers study rates of abuse by demographics like age, gender, geography, drug of abuse, plus a host of other characteristics. By understanding the scope, scale, and other information about addictions, drug policymakers can design more effective prevention and treatment programs.

    One group leading the charge to understand drug use in America is the National Institute on Drug Abuse . Their stated mission is to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. Researchers at NIDA collect, analyze, and publish data on drug abuse in the United States, providing a solid statistical description of drug use across a spectrum of substances, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

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