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Substance Abuse Statistics

Substance Abuse Statistics

Substance abuse treatment programs abound yet many always seem to have a waiting list. We often hear about the increase of opioid-related deaths and at least once a week someone mentions the term “war on drugs” but what do substance abuse statistics say on the subject? According to SAMHSA in 2017, 9.4% of men and 5.2% of women in the United States qualified as having a substance use disorder. This translates into over 23 million people. This number is only those that have been counted as there are many other individuals who have not yet been diagnosed so are not counted in the substance abuse statistics. How do these numbers look in regard to substances and the effects that a substance abuse disorder costs? Let’s take a look.

Breaking Substance Abuse Statistics Down

Substance abuse statistics show that drug use changes over time. Alcohol was once the biggest issue and then marijuana became popular. In recent years, the trend has moved more toward opiates such as prescription pain medication and heroin. With the increasing legalization of marijuana, we will likely see this regaining a popular position. In the meantime, alcohol use among younger individuals has been enjoying a steady decline over the past thirty years. In 2017:

  • 966,000 American adults over the age of 12 were addicted to cocaine
  • 652,000 were addicted to heroin
  • 1.7 million were addicted to prescription drugs (Of these, more women were counted, while more men fell into the heroin category)
  • 4.1 million were addicted to marijuana (with the majority of these being between the ages of 12 and 25)
  • An estimated 14.5 million individuals (or 53% of the American population) had an alcohol use problem.

Since 2017, American use of alcohol and cocaine. However, addiction to heroin, prescription drugs, and other opiates have increased in this span of time.

Compounding the Issue of Substance Abuse Statistics

Substance abuse statistics show something else we may not often consider. Single-substance addictions are rare; many people have polysubstance addictions. It has been determined that 85% of all individuals with a substance use disorder also have an additional substance addiction or a mental health disorder. Let’s use heroin use disorder as a base.

  • Those who are addicted to alcohol are twice as likely to also be addicted to heroin.
  • Those with marijuana addiction are three times as likely to use heroin.
  • Cocaine users are fifteen times more likely to also use heroin.
  • A full 40% of those addicted to prescription drugs also use heroin. It has been determined that those who abuse both prescription drugs and heroin are, on average, five years younger than those who use heroin alone.

9% of employed people abuse substances compared to 17% of unemployed people. The biggest disparity, however, exists within the justice system. 63% of the imprisoned population suffer from addiction. 75% of that population also suffer from a co-occurring mental illness.

Vogue Recovery Center

Substance abuse statistics show that in 2009, approximately 23.5 million Americans actually qualified as having a substance use disorder. Of this number, only 11% sought out treatment. Don’t allow yourself or a loved one to become a permanent part of that 91% who still suffer daily from substance abuse. Reach out to us today (866) 682-8449 and talk with our intake department to see what we can do for you. Tomorrow could see you joining the estimated 22 million individuals who are now in recovery from substance abuse.

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