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Drug Addiction Statistics United States

Statistics On Abuse And Addiction Of Sedatives And Tranquilizers

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  • In 2018, approximately 460,000 adolescents misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year.
  • Roughly 1.7 million young adults reported past-year misuse of sedatives and tranquilizers in 2018.
  • Some 4.3 million adults aged 26 years and older reported misusing prescription sedatives and tranquilizers in 2018.

Alcohol Abuse And Addiction Rates In The United States

Alcohol is the most commonly misused substance in the United States. While many adults drink in moderation, for some, this can become a compulsive and addictive habit.

Rates that apply to the type of alcohol use disorder :

  • About 24 percent of people over 12 report binge-drinking in the past month.
  • Nine in 10 adults who binge-drink do not have a severe alcohol use disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
  • About 55 percent of 12th graders reported drinking alcohol in the past year.
  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million people had an alcohol use disorder in 2019.

Drunk driving rates:

  • More than 10,000 people die in drunk-driving crashes each year.
  • On average, 29 people die each day in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver.

Alcohol-related fatalities:

Substance Use Among Adolescents With Mde

Adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a past year MDE were more likely to use substances compared with their counterparts who did not have an MDE in the past year. In 2019, adolescents with a past year MDE were more likely than adolescents without a past year MDE to be past year illicit drug users , past year marijuana users , or past year opioid misusers . Adolescents with a past year MDE also were more likely than those without a past year MDE to be past month binge alcohol users or past month cigarette users .

Figure 55. Substance Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by Past Year Major Depressive Episode Status: 2019

+ Difference between this estimate and the estimate for youths without MDE is statistically significant at the .05 level.Note: Youth respondents with unknown MDE data were excluded.

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Age Comparisons For Perceived Risk From Substance Use

In 2019, perceptions of great risk of harm from substance use varied by substance and age. For example, adults aged 26 or older were more likely than adolescents aged 12 to 17 or young adults aged 18 to 25 to perceive great risk of harm from smoking one or more packs of cigarettes per day .

Moreover, young adults aged 18 to 25 were less likely than adolescents aged 12 to 17 or adults aged 26 or older to perceive great risk of harm from smoking marijuana weekly . Recent research has identified associations among adults between decreases in perceptions of great risk of harm from smoking marijuana weekly and increases in marijuana use.42,43 Nevertheless, people can experience adverse effects from marijuana use, such as marijuana use disorder or injury resulting from operating a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana.44,45 Therefore, it is necessary to educate young adults about adverse effects of marijuana use.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Statistics

Youth Drug Use Across America
  • Less than 7.5% of people with alcohol use disorder received any treatment within the past year. Less than 4% of people with AUD receive a U.S. Food and Drug Administration -approved prescription medication for alcohol use disorder.
  • Roughly 18.5% of all ED visits have alcohol as a contributing factor.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, the rate of ED visits related to alcohol use increased by 47%. This means there were about 210,000 additional ED visits every year.

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Direct Deaths: Drug Overdoses

Over 350,000 die from alcohol and illicit drug use disorders each year

As we have just seen most deaths from substance use are the result of long-term use of the drugs which increases the likelihood of various diseases and injury: these are indirect deaths caused by the drugs.

But a significant number of people die every year from directly from drug overdoses. Substance use disorders are classified on the basis of drug dependency, as defined by the criteria in the WHOs International Classification of Disease .

Deaths from substance use disorders are differentiated between alcohol dependence, and illicit drug dependence .

These estimates of the annual number of deaths by cause are shown here. This chart is shown for the global total, but can be explored for any country or region using the change country toggle.9

Just over 350,000 died from substance use disorders in 2017: 185,000 from alcohol, and 167,000 from illicit drugs.

In some countries drug overdoses rank highly on the leading causes of death: in the USA in 2017, for example, more people died from overdoses than in road accidents.

Disease Burden From Substance Use Disorders

1.5% of global disease burden results from alcohol and illicit drug addiction in some countries its over 5%

Using the measure of deaths fails to capture the full health consequences of substance use disorders. Drugs not only lead to death, but also to diseases and disabilities that impact peoples health.

To quantify full health impacts we can look at disease burden, measured in Disability-Adjusted Life Years DALYs. This metric considers not only death rates, but also years lived with disability or health burden.

In the map we see the share of disease burden attributed to substance use disorders. 1.5% of global disease burden is attributed to alcohol and illicit drug addiction.

In some countries this share is much higher: in the USA it accounts for more than 5% of disease burden.

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Any Mental Health Service Use Among Adolescents

In addition to asking adolescents aged 12 to 17 about treatment for depression, the 2019 NSDUH included questions for adolescents that asked about the receipt of any service for emotional or behavioral problems not caused by substance use. The youth mental health service utilization section of the interview asked respondents aged 12 to 17 whether they received any treatment or counseling within the 12 months prior to the interview for problems with emotions or behavior in the following settings: specialty mental health settings,73 education settings , general medical settings , juvenile justice settings , or child welfare settings .74

The percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who received mental health services in a specialty mental health setting in the past year increased from 11.8 percent in 2002 to 16.7 percent in 2019 . This percentage in 2019 was higher than the percentage in each year from 2002 to 2017 but was similar to the percentage in 2018.

Figure 73. Sources of Mental Health Services in the Past Year among Youths Aged 12 to 17: 2002-2019

+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.

Figure 73 Table. Sources of Mental Health Services in the Past Year among Youths Aged 12 to 17: 2002-2019

N/A = not available.+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.

Initiation Of Substance Use

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The 2019 NSDUH included questions to measure the initiation of substance use, that is, use of particular substances for the first time during a person’s lifetime.33 This report presents the estimated number of recent substance use initiates or prescription drug misuse initiates.34 Recent initiates were substance users or prescription drug misusers who reported first using or misusing, respectively, a particular substance in the 12 months before the NSDUH interview.35,36

In particular, this report presents estimates for past year initiation of heroin use, prescription pain reliever misuse, prescription tranquilizer misuse, and prescription sedative misuse, separately. In contrast, the report does not present estimates for past year initiation of any opioid misuse, any illicit drug use , and any prescription tranquilizer or sedative misuse because respondents may not report the misuse of prescription drugs that occurred more than 12 months before the interview. Consequently, these estimates could be biased. Estimates for the past year initiation of benzodiazepine misuse are not presented because NSDUH did not capture information on lifetime misuse of benzodiazepines.37

Figure 26. Past Year Initiates of Substances among People Aged 12 or Older: 2019

Rx = prescription.Note: Estimates for prescription pain relievers, prescription tranquilizers, prescription stimulants, andprescription sedatives are for the initiation of misuse.

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Statistics On Marijuana Addiction And Abuse

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 its 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 Smoking And Tobacco Use In The Us

  • In 2018, nearly 14% of adults in America were smokers.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.
  • Over 16 million Americans are living with smoking-related diseases.
  • On average, 1,300 people die every day from cigarette smoking.
  • Cigarette smoking claims 480,000 American lives each year. Approximately 40,000 deaths are from exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke.
  • Smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers, on average.
  • Each day, around 2,000 people under the age of 18 smoke for the first time. Every day, around 300 people under 18 become daily smokers.
  • At the current rate, 5.6 million Americans under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses.
  • In 2018, around 7.5% of people who tried to quit smoking were successful.
  • At least 55% of adult cigarette smokers made at least one attempt at quitting in 2018.
  • Smoking costs the U.S. over $300 billion each year in direct medical care and lost productivity due to premature deaths.
  • $22.5 million is spent every day by cigarette manufacturers on promotions and advertising .

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Pandemic Effects On Drug Use

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many wondered if drug use may have increased in 2020 and 2021. While statistics covering this time period are still emerging, a June 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 13% of Americans reported turning to substances to deal with emotions and stress caused by the pandemic.

However, the “Monitoring the Future” survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that substance use decreased significantly among adolescents in 2021.

Teens reported experiencing greater anxiety, boredom, depression, and loneliness. However, drug use rates decreased, including for substances that are most commonly used by teens, including alcohol, marijuana, and vaping.

Why Is Addiction On The Rise

Health Indicators

Addiction is on the rise in the United States for several reasons. One factor that has contributed to the rise is the Covid-19 pandemic that struck the world by storm in 2020. This pandemic has caused not only addiction and drug use to rise, but it has also caused mental health disorders to increase significantly. One of the other reasons drug use has risen is stress. People are more stressed out and dont know how to cope so they use drugs. Untreated mental illnesses can also contribute to this factor. Legalization is another reason it could be on the rise. With recreational marijuana being legal in many states, drug use has become more acceptable. Marijuana was also once considered to be a gateway drug which could also be a contributing factor. One last reason addiction continues to increase is due to the opioid epidemic. This has been an ongoing problem for the last 15 years, and things arent getting any better.

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The Consequences Of Drug Abuse

In 2017, the cost of drug abuse in the US was nearly $272 billion, taking into account crime, healthcare needs, lost work productivity and other impacts on society.

  • $193 billion was incurred in overall costs for illegal drugs in addition to $78.5 billion for prescription opioids.
  • $11 billion was incurred in healthcare costs related to the use of illegal drugs and $26 billion for prescription opioids.
  • 326,000 hospitalizations occurred for nonfatal drug poisonings or overdoses occurred in 2016, including unintentional, undetermined intent, and intentional self-harm.
  • 577,794 emergency room visits occurred for nonfatal drug poisonings or overdoses in 2016 with the most patients experiencing opioid poisoning.
  • There are new psychoactive substances entering the market every year. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of known psychoactive substances being sold increased from 269 to 479.
  • Drug abuse often results in comorbidity- nearly 50% of persons who have substance abuse disorder also experience mental illness.

For more information, see our report on drug-related crime statistics.

Us High School Students Who Have Used Hallucinogenic Drugs At Least Once As Of 2017 By Gender And Ethnicity

  • Of all ethnicities, white high school students are the group with the highest one-time hallucinogenic drug use rates.2% respondents admitted to have used a hallucinogenic drug at least once in their lifetime.
  • 2% of Hispanic male students responded with a yes when asked if they have used a hallucinogenic drug at least once, more than Black, White, and other races/ethnicities.
  • Of all ethnic groups, Black high school students are the one with the lowest rate of one-time hallucinogenic drug use. Only 3.3% of respondents have used a hallucinogenic drug at least once.
  • Female Black students are the least enthusiastic when it comes to hallucinogenic drugs, with only 1.4% of respondents admitting to have tried LSD, acid, PCP, angel dust, mescaline, or mushrooms one or more times during in their life.
  • Male students are more likely to use hallucinogenic drugs than female users in the same age. It applies to all ethnic groups.

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Any Mental Health Services

  • Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, the percentage who received mental health services in a specialty mental health setting in the past year increased from 11.8 percent in 2002 to 16.7 percent in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage who received mental health services in a general medical setting in the past year increased from 2.7 percent to 3.7 percent . The percentage who received mental health services in an education setting in the past year increased from 12.1 percent in 2009 to 15.4 percent in 2019.
  • Among adults aged 18 or older, the percentage who received any mental health services in the past year increased from 13.0 percent in 2002 to 16.1 percent in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage who received prescription medication for a mental health issue increased from 10.5 percent to 13.1 percent , the percentage who received outpatient mental health services in the past year increased from 7.4 percent to 8.3 percent , and the percentage who received inpatient mental health services in the past year increased from 0.7 percent to 1.0 percent .
  • Among adults aged 18 or older with past year AMI, receipt of mental health services in the past year increased from 40.9 percent in 2008 to 44.8 percent in 2019. Among the 13.1 million adults aged 18 or older in 2019 with past year SMI, 65.5 percent received mental health services in the past year, which was similar to the percentage in each year from 2008 through 2018.

Global Population Share Of Illicit Drug Use By Drug Type

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  • Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug among all drug users. It is estimated that between 3.4% and 4.8% of the global population consumes cannabis.
  • Opioids score the second place, with 0.55% to 0.91% of the global population using opioid-based drugs. UNODC ID 443460, 2017)
  • Between 0.28% and 0.53% of the global population consumes opiates, which makes them the third-most often consumed illicit drug in the world.
  • Cocaine is almost as popular as opiates . It is estimated that stimulants, such as cocaine, amphetamines, and ecstasy are used by as much as 1.13% of the global population.

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Tranquilizer Or Sedative Misuse

Estimates of the misuse of prescription tranquilizers or sedatives are presented together because prescription drugs in both categories have a common effect on specific activity in the brain. Prescription tranquilizers include benzodiazepine tranquilizers , muscle relaxants, or any other prescription tranquilizer. Prescription sedatives include zolpidem products, eszopiclone products, zaleplon products, benzodiazepine sedatives , barbiturates, or any other prescription sedative.

Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year declined from 2.6 percent in 2015 to 2.1 percent in 2019 . These estimates in 2019 were lower than those in 2015 to 2017, but they were similar to those in 2018.

Figure 19. Past Year Prescription Tranquilizer or Sedative Misuse among People Aged 12 or Older: 2015-2019

+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.

Figure 19 Table. Past Year Prescription Tranquilizer or Sedative Misuse among People Aged 12 or Older: 2015-2019

Age
+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.

Aged 12 to 17

Among adolescents aged 12 to 17 in 2019, 1.8 percent misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year . The percentages among adolescents remained stable between 2015 and 2019.

Aged 18 to 25

Aged 26 or Older

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