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?
Indirect Deaths: Risk Factors For Early Death
Substance use is responsible for 11.4 million premature deaths each year
11.8 million deaths are attributed to substance use each year we look at the this breakdown between direct deaths and indirect deaths from increased risk of various diseases and injury here.
What we see from this breakdown is that the majority of these deaths are indirect: they result from more than smoking increasing the risk of lung and various other cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes and alcohol and illicit drugs increasing the risk of suicide, hepatitis and liver diseases.
The Global Burden of Disease is a major global study on the causes and risk factors for death and disease published in the medical journal The Lancet.8 These estimates of the annual number of deaths attributed to a wide range of risk factors 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.
In this chart you see deaths from smoking, secondhand smoke, alcohol use, and drug use: collectively these accounted for 11.4 million deaths in 2017. If we consider these deaths collectively, this makes substance use the leading risk factor for premature death globally.
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.
Common Questions About Rehab
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Substance Use Disorder Treatment Considerations
Minority groups or people of color may suffer from substance abuse or mental health disorders at high rates part due to difficulties accessing care, the right kind of care not being available, and environmental, social, and financial concerns may be barriers to treatment.
It is important not to generalize and assume that people of specific races all need the same thing each person is an individual. While certain considerations for particular cultures or ethnicities may be made, each person will respond to treatment differently and has unique needs for care and recovery. Professionals who are in tune with cultural beliefs and traditions can be beneficial in understanding what types of treatment may be best.19
A persons level of acculturation, spiritual and religious beliefs, and primary language are all factors to be considered and accommodated during treatment and recovery. Social stigmas may need to be carefully dispelled and cultural sensitivity is vital.19
American Addiction Centers facilities like Sunrise House understand the need for personalized, individualized treatment plans. Some locations even offer translators if necessary. Call to learn more about what we can do for you or your loved one.
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 persons physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
- Every year, worldwide, alcohol is the cause of 5.3% of deaths .
- 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 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.
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Any Mental Health Service Use Among Adults With Ami
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 . This percentage in 2019 was higher than the percentages in 2008 to 2012, but it was similar to the percentages in most years from 2013 through 2018.
Figure 75. Any Mental Health Services Received in the Past Year among Adults Aged 18 or Older with Any Mental Illness in the Past Year: 2008-2019
+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.
|+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.|
Aged 18 to 25
Among young adults aged 18 to 25 with past year AMI, receipt of mental health services in the past year increased from 30.3 percent in 2008 to 38.9 percent in 2019 . This percentage in 2019 was higher than the percentages in 2008 to 2016, but it was similar to the percentages in 2017 and 2018.
Aged 26 to 49
Among adults aged 26 to 49 with past year AMI, receipt of mental health services in the past year increased from 41.4 percent in 2008 to 45.4 percent in 2019 . This percentage in 2019 was higher than the percentages in most years from 2008 to 2012, but it was similar to the percentages in 2013 to 2018.
Aged 50 or Older
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.
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National Take Back Day
The DEA promotes National Take Back Days, encouraging consumers to hand over their expired and unused medications. Take Back Day was canceled in April 2020 due to lockdowns.
- Consumers hand over 726,798.5 lbs. of medication on an average National Take Back Day.
- An average of 4,540 police precincts participate in each DEA National Take Back Day.
- There are an average of 5,472 drop-off sites.
- Each drop-off site collects an average 132.8 lbs. of medication.
- There have been 22 total National Take Back Days, which have collected 15,989,566 lbs. of medication.
- Compared to the previous year, October 24, 2020 had 25.7% fewer drop-off sites but an 11.6% pound-for-pound increase in collected medications.
Addiction Statistics In America
Addiction is a chronic mental disorder that affects the brain and involves motivation and reward. It is the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in behaviors, despite knowing they cause physical and psychological harm. Drug and alcohol addiction impacts millions of Americans each year.
- More than 20 million people in the U.S. have an addiction. Yet only 10% of these people receive any addiction treatment.
- Drug and alcohol addiction costs the United States an estimated $600 billion each year.
- The highest prevalence of drug use is in Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 years.
- More than 9 out of 10 people with an addiction started drinking or using drugs before age 18.
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Global Drug Users Seeking Emergency Medical Treatment For Select Drug Use
- Drug statistics are merciless for NPS, the so-called New Psychoactive Substances, also referred to as the legal high. 1% of drug users who have taken NPS have sought emergency treatment.
- GHB or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate scored the second place among the most dangerous drugs, with 7% of drug users seeking emergency treatment after taking the substance.
- Methamphetamine has a 2.5% rate of emergency medical treatment requests among drug users. Its 0.6% lower than in the case of amphetamine and 1% lower than mephedrone.
- 2% of synthetic cannabis users ask for emergency treatment after consuming the drug, which is four times more than people who use natural cannabis Global Drug Survey ID 748304, 2017)
- Alcohol is the only legal drug on the list with a noticeable rate of emergency treatment requests. 3% of alcohol users have sought such help after intoxication.
- Drugs like cannabis, LSD, cocaine, MDMA, ketamine, and magic mushrooms show the lowest percentage of users asking for emergency medical aid, ranging from 0.3% to 1% .
Statistics On Addiction In America
Whether its 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 , is a chronic mental health condition.
Because it affects the brains 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 persons 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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Addiction As A Disease Or Problem In Living
At present, most professionals consider addiction to be a chronic, relapsing disease , similar to other chronic disorders such as hypertension or asthma . Therefore, it becomes imperative to distinguish whether addiction is a very common disease-like phenomenon , or whether, with such apparently high prevalence, addiction reflects some other or additional phenomena. For example, perhaps, addiction is a condition of lifestyle modeled by socialenvironmental conditions , possibly with critical periods of development in which one is most vulnerable to imprint this lifestyle . If addiction is popularly learned by victims, differing in objects of addiction by accessibility to the objects, social circumstances, time demands, and other social environmentaldevelopmental forces, then arguably social policy changes are needed, which could inhibit or redirect such excessive behavior away from self-destructive outcomes throughout the lifespan, and channel behavior in more constructive directions .
Statistics On Addiction To Specific Substances
- About 966,000 American adults struggled with a cocaine use disorder in 2017.1
- That same year, 637,000 people age 12 and older received treatment for a cocaine use disorder either in their last or current stay in rehabilitation.7
- About 652,000 people age 12 and older had a heroin use disorder in 2017.1
- Almost a quarter of people who abuse heroin will become addicted to it.12
- Heroin use has risen in most demographic groups in the United States over the past 2 decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.4
- Individuals addicted to alcohol are 2 times more likely to also be addicted to heroin, while those addicted to marijuana are 3 times more likely, individuals addicted to cocaine are 15 times more likely, and people addicted to prescription drugs are 40 times more likely.4
- The highest at-risk population for heroin addiction is non-Hispanic white males between the ages of 18 and 25 who live in large cities.4
- Approximately 4.1 million American adults over the age of 12 battled a marijuana use disorder in 2017.1
- The majority of people struggling with marijuana addiction in 2017 were between the ages of 12 and 25.1
- Almost 6% of full-time college students in the United States were daily marijuana smokers in 2014. This is more than triple the number of daily smokers in this population 20 years prior.14
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Drug Abuse Among States
Nearly 70% of law enforcement agencies in the western and midwestern areas of the United States view methamphetamine and fentanyl as the greatest threats to their populations.
- West Virginia has the nations highest rate of overdose deaths at 51.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Delaware, with 43.8 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Pennsylvania, with 36.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Ohio, with 35.9 deaths per 100,000 people.
Alcohol Use In The Past Month
As noted in the section on Substance Use in the Past Month, the 2019 NSDUH asked respondents aged 12 or older about their alcohol use in the 30 days before the interview. In addition to asking about any alcohol use, NSDUH collected information on past month binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use. Binge drinking for males was defined as drinking five or more drinks18 on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days, which has remained unchanged from the threshold prior to 2015. Since 2015, binge alcohol use for females has been defined as drinking four or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.19 This definition of binge alcohol use is consistent with federal definitions.20 Heavy alcohol use was defined as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past 30 days based on the thresholds described previously for males and females.
Among the 139.7 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2019, 65.8 million people were past month binge drinkers . Among past month binge drinkers, 16.0 million people were past month heavy drinkers.21
Figure 6. Current, Binge, and Heavy Alcohol Use among People Aged 12 or Older: 2019
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Mental Illness Among Adults
- Among adults aged 18 or older, the percentage who had any mental illness in the past year increased from 17.7 percent in 2008 to 20.6 percent in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage who had serious mental illness in the past year increased from 3.7 percent to 5.2 percent .
- Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the percentage who had AMI in the past year increased from 18.5 percent in 2008 to 29.4 percent in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage who had SMI in the past year increased from 3.8 percent to 8.6 percent .
- Among adults aged 26 to 49, the percentage who had AMI in the past year increased from 20.7 percent in 2008 to 25.0 percent in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage who had SMI in the past year increased from 4.8 percent to 6.8 percent .
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.
|N/A = not available.+ Difference between this estimate and the 2019 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.|
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