Saturday, April 20, 2024

How Many People Are Addicted To Drugs In The Us

Who Is Doing More Drugs

Pasco vigil held for victims of substance abuse as US drug overdose deaths hit record high

With drug abuse being so rampant in the U.S., 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 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 are the fastest-growing demographic of alcohol and drug use 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.


Baby Boomers:

How The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Affected Substance Abuse

Although national data isnt yet available on substance use, addiction, and overdose for 2020, early estimates predict alarming trendsin part influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected substance abuse in a number of ways, including access to treatment, illicit drug access, social support, and how people are coping with pandemic stress.

Highlights of COVID-19 and substance abuse:

How And Why Do People Get Addicted To Drugs

It is very challenging to try to explain addiction. Especially as a concerned loved one, it can be difficult to explain to yourself how your child, your boyfriend, your sibling, became addicted to drugs. On the outside looking in, many people feel that substance addiction is a:

  • Bad choice, in which someone should just say no
  • Bad habit that just needs to be kicked
  • Weakness, that someone cant overcome the withdrawal symptoms
  • Moral failing, that the person has given up

The fact is, drug addiction is none of the above. It is achronic disease of the brain that cannot be overcome overnight, with a simple no or change of mind. If you are asking why do people get addicted to drugs or why did my child get addicted to drugs, its important to recognize this first.

More than likely, you have other questions like, How did this happen? Your loved one may have been raised right, on a solid moral foundation or in a good home, but still started using drugs. The truth is, there are many reasons that people use drugs, and many reasons that people become addicted. Its important you do not blame yourself, or your loved one, before understanding the facts.

Read Also: How Do You Get Addicted To Nicotine

In 10 Americans Report Having Resolved A Significant Substance Use Problem

The skyrocketing overdose rates make headlines daily, but what about all those entering into recovery?

This national study estimated the prevalence, pathways, and predictors of recovery from drug and alcohol problems.


There are approximately 20 million individuals in the US with a substance use disorder.


This study by Kelly and colleagues* added to the research in the area by investigating problem resolution using a nationally representative sample of US adults both geographically and demographically. This representative sample mapped onto eight demographic and geographic benchmarks in the US census .


Get Help For Addiction Today

Americas Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription ...

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.

  • About

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

Clinically Reviewed:

David Hampton

  • About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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How Many People Are Addicted To Drugs In The Us

Drug addiction is at an all-time high in the United States. Study after study shows us that drug use is on the rise. From the opioid crisis reaching every corner of the nation to illegal drugs still finding their ways into childrenâs hands, drug addiction affects one in every ten Americans.

What do the statistics tell us about Americaâs substance abuse crisis? More importantly: what can we do about prevention, treatment, and more?

The Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap 2010 initiative reviewed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This report is released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration .

This report review helps legislators, healthcare professionals, and others lobby for change in Washington and throughout the country to help those who canât afford treatment get the help they need for illicit drug use and alcohol abuse.

According to Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, CATG Director, âOur society and our health care system have been slow to recognize and respond to addiction as a chronic, but treatable, condition. While change doesnât happen overnight, if health care reform is implemented properly, millions of Americans will finally have insurance coverage for addiction treatment. This is a historic step toward a comprehensive, integrated approach to health care that includes treatment of addiction.â

Statistics About Meth In Seniors

A stereotype about methamphetamine is that the drug is so damaging to health that most users dont make it to retirement age. A 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Geriatric Medicine found that up to 22% of people over age 65 could be misusing alcohol and/or drugs, including methamphetamines.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reported that only 44 people over age 65 sought treatment for meth use in 1992. By 2019, over 251,000 people age 50 or above reported using meth in the prior month, including 83,000 between the ages of 55 and 59, and 73,000 between the ages of 60 and 65. Over 14,000 people over age 65 used meth in a prior month in 2019, according to the 2019 NSDUH survey.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Difference Between Drug Abuse And Drug Addiction

Statistics On Cocaine Addiction And Abuse

Cocaine is an illegal Stimulant. Whether it comes in the form of powder or crystal , 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.

Further Guidance And Support

Taliban: 9% of Afghanistan’s population are addicted to drugs | World Latest English News | WION

National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • Information: Guidance and support on treatment. Specific guides for teens, young adults and adults, as well as those trying to support someone with a drug use disorder.
  • Geographical coverage: Universal guidance US-based treatment

UK National Health Service Guidance

  • Information: Guidance and support on where to get help with a drug use disorder
  • Geographical coverage: UK only
  • Available at:


  • Information: Free, confidential support services online, and by phone. General information ranging from drug effects to support for a drug dependency.
  • Geographical coverage: Global
  • Available at:

WHO Guidelines for the identification and management of substance use and substance use disorders in pregnancy

  • Information: Guidance from the World Health Organization for healthcare providers managing women from conception to birth and the postnatal period, and their infants.
  • Geographical coverage: Global

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Methamphetamine Abuse And Addiction Statistics

Methamphetamine is an illicit stimulant that is surging in use across the United States, but especially among American Indians and Alaska natives, according to recent data.

Overview of meth abuse and addiction rates:

  • An estimated one million people in the United States are addicted to meth or dependent on meth.
  • About 184,000 people reported trying meth for the first time in 2019.

Meth overdose rates:

  • From 2011 to 2018, deaths involving meth increased five-fold, to 10.1 deaths per 100,00 men and 4.5 deaths per 100,000 women.
  • Deaths involving methamphetamine among non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska natives more than quadrupled from 2011 to 2018.

# Some Implications Of Addictions

Addictive behaviors are associated with high economic costs, personal unhappiness, and co-morbidities with depressive disorders and other mood and anxiety disorders. Addictions directly lower wellbeing through their direct impacts on poor decision making and outcomes, social isolation and stigmatization, criminal activities to obtain illicit substances or to pursue illicit behaviors, personal shame, and other kinds of distress. Addictions may also give rise to clinical depression through mood dysregulation or secondarily to the acute stresses resulting from the addiction. At the same time, depression and other mood disorders may give rise to addictive behaviors, as individuals try to self-medicate their dysphoria through resort to substance abuse or addictive behaviors.

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Finding Help For Prescription Drug Abuse

These prescription drug abuse statistics show that the use of prescription medications for nonmedical reasons is growing in America and the effects are evident. If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, call our toll-free helpline now at . Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you find treatment.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Addiction

Reality Check  Most Dont Become Addicted

Substance misuse and addiction can refer to the misuse of a wide range of substances, some of which are classified as legal or illicit.

Commonly misused drugs include:

  • prescription drugs

Addiction can occur in people of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities, regardless of income or socioeconomic status. No one is immune.

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Meth Addiction Stats By Education Level

Meth use and addiction are sometimes associated with a lower educational level, but the NSDUH survey showed that in 2019, the largest groups of adult meth users had completed at least some college. The 2019 educational breakdown of adult meth user stats are as follows:

  • Less than high school: 1.8 million
  • High school graduate: 4.2 million
  • Some college/associates degree: 5.8 million
  • College graduates: 3.1 million

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.

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Prevalence Of Substance Use Disorders

Over 2% of the world population has an alcohol or illicit drug addiction

How common is alcohol or drug addiction?

In the map here we see the share of the population with a substance use disorder. Globally, just over 2% of the world were dependent on alcohol or an illicit drug.

In some countries its even more common. In the USA and several countries in Eastern Europe, more than 1-in-20 were dependent. In the USA, this was dominated by illicit drug dependence, whereas alcoholism was much more common in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Alcohol and drug addiction is more common in men

How does the prevalence of substance use disorders alcohol and illicit drug addiction vary between men and women?

In this visualization we show this comparison: the share of men with a substance use disorder is shown on the y-axis the share of women on the x-axis. The grey line represents parity: countries which lie along this line have equal prevalence in men and women. In countries which lie above the line, substance use disorders is more common in men.

Globally, alcohol or drug dependence was twice as common in men as in women: in 2016, 2.4% of men were dependent, versus 1.2% in women. Since all countries lie above the grey line, dependency is more common in men across the world.

Alcohol use vs. drug use disorders

Do countries with high rates of alcoholism also have high rates of other drug use disorders? Or does a high prevalence in one mean a low prevalence in the other?

Why Is Drug Use In America On The Rise

‘Painkiller addiction’: An epidemic affecting millions in the US

Overall drug use and alcohol consumption in the United States are on the rise. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics , almost 32 million people were actively using drugs as of 2021, with marijuana, prescription stimulants, and methamphetamines as the most popular drugs of choice. Add alcohol and tobacco use, and more than 60% of the US population was actively using some form of substance.

Drug use can affect the users , as well as their loved ones and society as a whole. Drug use costs the country more than $740 billion each year in lost work, health care, and drug-related crimes.

Many factors have contributed to the rise in drug use in America. The drug problem is not related to youth or poverty. People of all ages and income levels are using drugs and struggling with some form of substance use disorder. And drug use is becoming more accepted in society. Turn on the television or listen to music and youre likely to see or hear references about drinking, smoking, or some type of drug use. To better avoid and mitigate the consequences, as well as to seek help with addiction for a loved one, its important to understand why drug use is on the rise. Heres an in-depth look at the problem and the factors that lead to drug use.

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New Data Show Millions Of Americans With Alcohol And Drug Addiction Could Benefit From Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. New government data demonstrate the continued, urgent need for more Americans to have access to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, according to an analysis by the Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap initiative. If implemented properly, federal health care reform legislation could help remove financial barriers to treatment for millions of Americans.

According to Defining the Addiction Treatment Gap, a CATG review of the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other national data sources, addiction continues to impact every segment of American society.

Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. Thats approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 roughly equal to the entire population of Texas. But only 11 percent of those with an addiction receive treatment. It is staggering and unacceptable that so many Americans are living with an untreated chronic disease and cannot access treatment, said Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, director of the CATG Initiative.

Defining the Addiction Treatment Gap is intended to provide statistical context for efforts to close Americas addiction treatment gap, including the design of an addiction treatment benefit as part of health care reform implementation. According to CATG, a number of important factors should be considered:

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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.

Also Check: Why Do People Get Addicted To Drugs

Drug Addiction Statistics In The Uk

In 2018, 4,359 people died from drug poisoning in the UK.¹ Of these deaths, 2,917 were from drug misuse, which was an increase of 17% from the previous year.

Using the latest public surveys conducted by the NHS, Public Health England and the UK Government, Manor Clinic has compiled the key statistics on drug use and misuse in the UK.

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