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Percentage Of Population With Addiction

Drug Abuse Among Age Groups

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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.

Substance Use And Addiction Can Also Be Understood As Being On A Spectrum

People use substances for different reasons, and in varying degrees. For some people there may not be any harms related to their substance use, however, for some there may be negative impacts on their lives. Substance use and addiction can be understood as being on a spectrum, as seen in the model below.

Often the symptoms of problematic substance use and addiction can be episodic, and an individual can experience periods of increased substance use as well as periods of control. For example, casual or non-problematic substance consumption might escalate into problematic substance use if an individual is experiencing stressors in their life and using substances to cope. The substance use spectrum can be seen below:vii

A common misconception about addiction is that an individual will immediately get hooked if experimenting with an addictive substance. While many substances can be addictive, addiction isnt caused simply by the substances being consumed. For example, many people who use narcotics for post-operative pain relief do not become dependent on these substances. Addiction and substance use are often connected to a persons lived experience and their behavior patterns.


i European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. . Models of Addiction. Retrieved from:

Substance Use Treatment In The Past Year

Substance use treatment services are intended to help people address problems associated with their substance use. NSDUH provides two measures related to substance use treatment: the need for substance use treatment and the receipt of substance use treatment. The substance use treatment estimates in this section are presented for 2016 but are not considered to be comparable with estimates prior to 2015 because changes in the measurement of substance use may have affected the group of respondents who were asked the substance use treatment questions. Also, estimates of the need for substance use treatment in 2016 are not comparable with estimates prior to 2015 because of the noncomparability of several SUD estimates in 2016 with those prior to 2015.

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Alcohol Addiction Treatment Statistics

  • 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.

Teen Alcohol Use Statistics

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In the United States, high school students abuse alcohol more than any illicit drug. Not surprisingly, it causes the most harm, and underage alcohol use is responsible for 119,000 emergency department visits and 4,300 deaths each year among people under the age of 21.

Statistics from surveys conducted the past two years show:

  • 58.5% of 12th graders had tried alcohol
  • 30% of high schoolers drank in the last month
  • 16% rode in the car of someone who had been drinking
  • 6% drove after drinking

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What Is Substance Abuse

Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse or alcohol abuse, refers to a chronic pattern of frequent or excessive substance use in a way that is harmful to health and well-being.

Examples of this include:

  • taking drugs for reasons other than prescribed
  • taking higher doses than prescribed
  • taking drugs in ways other than prescribed

Number Of People In The Us Who Used Crack In Their Lifetime From 2009 To 2016

  • Crack is one of the most addictive recreational drugs in the world. Fortunately, its not as popular in the U.S. as other, less harmful drugs. The use of crack noted a very low increase from 2009 to 2016. Only 386,000 more people reported to have the drug in their lifetime in comparison to 2009.
  • The use of crack in the U.S. peaked in 2014, reaching 9,424,000 one-time users.
  • The popularity of crack in the U.S. is a sinusoidal trend, but we can observe a steady decrease in its use since 2014. The number of people who admitted to have used crack in their lifetime dropped by 648,000 in two years.

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Number Of People In The Us Who Used Methamphetamine In The Lifetime From 2009 To 2016

12,908,000 people in the U.S. admitted to have used methamphetamine in their lifetime in 2009.

  • In 2010, the number of one-time methamphetamine users dropped to 13,060,000.
  • There was a decrease in the number of people who have used amphetamine within their lifetime between 2010 and 2011. The number dropped by 1,132,000.
  • Since 2011, we can observe a steady rise in the use of methamphetamine by people 12 years and older. In 2015, 14,533,000 people in the U.S. answered that they have tried methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime.
  • The 2014 results were not comparable due to methodological changes.

Criminal Justice Or Employment Status

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  • Almost twice as many people who are unemployed struggle with addiction than those who are full-time workers, CNN Money reports around 17 percent of the unemployed and 9 percent of the employed population struggled with a substance use disorder in 2012.
  • About half of the population of American prisons and jails suffer from addiction, according to NCAAD.
  • Around three-quarters of individuals in a state prison or local jail who suffer from a mental illness also struggle with substance abuse, and the opposite is also true.

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Ethnicity Or Race Considerations

  • The 2013 NSDUH reports that American Indians and Alaska natives had the highest rate of substance abuse and dependence at 14.3 percent.
  • Approximately 11.3 percent of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders suffered from substance abuse and dependence in 2013, NSDUH.
  • According to NSDUH, Hispanics and whites suffered from substance abuse and dependence at similar rates in 2013, around 8.5 percent, while about 7.4 percent of African Americans struggled with it.
  • Asians suffered from substance abuse and dependency the least at rates around 4.5 percent, per the 2013 NSDUH.
  • A study of undergraduate college students published in the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse found that whites and Hispanics were more likely to have issues surrounding drug abuse than their Asian and African American counterparts.

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.

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Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.

Number Of People In The Us Who Used Selected Illicit Drugs In Their Lifetime

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  • 118,524,000 Americans admitted to have used marijuana within their lifetime, which makes it the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S.
  • Cocaine is the second-most popular drug among Americans, with 38,880,000 people admitting to have used the drug within their lifetime.
  • Heroin is 2 times less popular than crack, and almost 24 times less popular than marijuana. Only 4,981,000 American residents have used heroin at least once.

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The Connection Between Homelessness And Substance Abuse

Although becoming homeless may be a risk factor that can contribute to the development of substance use, the research does not suggest that homelessness causes substance abuse in the majority of cases. Instead, there are other reasons that there is a higher proportion of mental illness and substance abuse issues among the entire group of individuals who are homeless.

Drug Addiction In The Us

Substance abuse is frequent among many age categories, may vary by gender or sex, and can vary based on geographic region. Since drug abuse can differ, it is essential to monitor how substances are consumed and their repercussions. The sections that follow examine rates and data of drug addiction in the US by demography.

Drug Abuse Among Age Groups

According to drug abuse statistics, there are age differences in substance addiction. For illustration, substance abuse statistics suggest:

  • The prevalence of drug usage is greatest among individuals aged 18 to 25, at 39 percent, compared to those aged 26 to 29, at 34 percent.
  • There is a low incidence of substance abuse among those aged 50 and older: 2.6 percent report utilizing marijuana in the last year and 0.4 percent report using cocaine.
  • In a given year, approximately 62 percent of adults aged 65 and older consumed alcohol on at least 30 occasions.
  • Ninety-three percent of college students who report taking illegal drugs say using marijuana.
  • Thirty-five percent of college students who use drugs report taking cocaine, and 36 percent use hallucinogens.

Drug Abuse Among States

States may differ in their substance use. Western and Midwestern states have some of the highest rates of a drug overdose, according to drug use statistics.

West Virginia has the highest overdose fatality rate in the US, with 51.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

Abuse Of Drugs By Gender

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Around 23 Million Us Citizens Have Alcohol Or Drug Addiction As Supported By Facts About Addiction

Somewhere around 23 million people in the US have drug or alcohol addiction. Of them, 15 million are addicted to alcohol, four million are addicted to drugs, and another four million are addicted to both. Another critical point is that most people start abusing drugs in their teenage years. Namely, there are about 7,898 new drug users every day, and 52% of them are under 18.

Admissions To Meth Addiction Therapy Increased By 3% From 2014 To 2015

Addiction Statistics

These meth statistics show that some people, although few, are seeking treatment for their meth addiction. With more efforts made to educate people, the results should keep improving, and more people will be encouraged to get therapy for their addiction. These statistics also show that up to 135,264 people got help for meth addiction in publicly funded facilities in 2015.

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Drug Regulation & Scheduling

Drug scheduling is an attempt to regulate drugs and drug sales. Schedules categorize drugs by their potential for medical use or for abuse. The potential for bodily damage is not a factor. In other words, the likelihood that a user may overdose or develop health issues has no impact on its classification as a Schedule I V drug.

Drug scheduling and definitions are part of the Controlled Substances Act .

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs have no acceptable medical use per the DEA. These drugs also have a high potential for abuse this may or may not be due to addictive properties. Drugs that are considered gateway drugs or deemed a public health risk may also be listed under Schedule I.

There are 250 drugs classified as Schedule I. Some examples of Schedule I drugs include ecstacy, heroin, synthetic heroin, LSD, marijuana, and peyote.

Schedule II

Drugs with a high risk of abuse and little-to-no medical use. Some of these include drugs that were once common prescriptions, such as Laudanaum.

There are 72 drugs classified as Schedule II. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Schedule III

Drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependance are classified as Schedule III. This category includes dozens of hormones, synthetic hormones, and hormone derivatives.

There are 130 drugs classified as Schedule III. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are anabolic steroids, codeine , and ketamine.

What Percent Of The Population Is Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol

Globally, slightly more than 2 percent of the population was dependent on alcohol or an illegal narcotic.In some nations, it is even more prevalent. Five percent of the population in the United States and some countries in Eastern Europe were dependent. In the United States, illicit drug use predominated, whereas alcoholism was far more prevalent in Eastern Europe and Russia.At a certain point in their lives, 10% of US individuals experience a substance use disorder. Seventy-five percent report receiving no treatment whatsoever.

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Alcohol And Health Statistics

  • In 2019, nearly 86,000 deaths due to liver disease involved alcohol.
  • Roughly half of all deaths due to cirrhosis are alcohol-related. These deaths are highest among the 2534 age group.
  • Alcohol-related liver disease was the primary cause of liver transplants in the U.S. from 2010 to 2016, accounting for almost one in three transplants.

Prevalence Of Gambling Addiction

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Gambling addiction prevalence is difficult to measure, especially because so many people who live with gambling addiction dont recognize it as a problem. However, there is some data available about the prevalence of gambling addiction in each state. According to a 2018 study conducted by WalletHub, Nevada had the highest rate of gambling addiction. Nevada was also ranked as the most gambling-friendly state. The states with the next highest frequencies of gambling addiction included Mississippi, Minnesota, Kansas, New Jersey and Nevada. New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, and Michigan had the lowest rates of gambling addiction.

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Meth Is Involved In 85%90% Of Stimulant

Meth is responsible for causing the highest death toll among stimulant-related drugs, a concern we continue to see among the meth addiction facts. Data from 2019 add that the rate of drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine and other psychostimulants was 5.0 per 100,000. Worse, the number of deaths caused by stimulant drugs rose on average by a margin of 29% per year from 2012 to 2019.

Synthetic Drug Abuse And Addiction In Canada

According to the United Nations, Canada is the worlds largest producer of Ecstasy and Methamphetamines. While global markets for Cocaine, Heroin, and even Cannabis declined in 2011, demand for Ecstasy and Meth rose Canadas production rose along with them. Positioned where it is geographically, Canada distributes a large portion of the drugs it produces to the US. Their transportation, however, is not limited by ground. Fully 85% of Meth seized in Australia is traced back to Canada.

The rate of Ecstasy use in Canada, however, is relatively low considering how much is produced and moved across the border. The true danger, both for those who are and are not afflicted by addiction in Canada, is the use of Methamphetamines.

Methamphetamine Abuse And Addiction In Canada

Methamphetamines, known as Meth or Jib on the streets, have long been a large-scale problem in Canada before the fairly recent spike in prescription Opioid abuse. Unlike with Opioid addiction, clinics are having trouble treating people with Meth addiction in Canada. There arent any prescription options to substitute for Meth, and the side effects of the drug make users trying to recover violent and unpredictable.

eventually gets you, and when it takes you down, it takes you down and you lose absolutely everything.

Marion Willis, founder of St. Boniface Street Links

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1 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Table 2.17B Alcohol Use in Lifetime among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2018 and 2019. . Accessed December 8, 2020.

2 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Table 2.18B Alcohol Use in Past Year among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2018 and 2019. . Accessed December 8, 2020.

3 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Table 2.19B Alcohol Use in Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2018 and 2019. . Accessed December 8, 2020.

4 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Table 2.20B Binge Alcohol Use in Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and Demographic Characteristics: Percentages, 2018 and 2019. . Accessed December 8, 2020.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment Considerations

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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.

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