Drug addiction is a major health and social issue in the United States. It affects people from all walks of life and in every community across the country. You may not see the effects of drug addiction on a daily basis, but the impact of drug addiction in your community does impact you and your family. To grasp the immensity of this problem, this article will outline addiction statistics in the United States that will make you take notice. You will also know the key reasons why addiction is common in the United States and where you can get help if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.
Why is Addiction Common in the United States?
When looking at addiction in the United States, it is essential to understand the reasons why it is so common across the country. The following data from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) show the shocking rates of drug use in the United States:
- 139.8 million Americans 12 and over drink alcohol
- 14.8 million Americans over the age of 12 have an alcohol use disorder
- 58.8 million Americans use tobacco
- 31.9 million Americans use illegal drugs
- 2 million people, or 24.7% of those with substance use disorders, have an opioid disorder
So why is drug use and addiction so common in the United States? One major reason is the ongoing opioid epidemic. Along with heroin, prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Percocet are responsible for over 70% of drug overdose deaths in 2020. While effective in helping people manage the pain from surgery and chronic diseases, opioids are highly addictive, and people become easily hooked—even if under strict medical supervision.
Another reason why addiction is common in the US is the changing viewpoints people have about substances and substance use. With the growing movement to legalize marijuana to the portrayal of substance use on social media, drinking and drug use are increasingly seen as normal and even acceptable behavior. Additionally, the increasing stress of everyday life leads more people to use substances as a coping mechanism. This can include work stresses, family issues, the rising cost of living, and increasing financial burdens.
Important Addiction Statistics in the United States
To fully grasp the drug problem in America, you need to take a deeper look at the addiction statistics supplied by reputable sources and agencies. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that 23 million Americans have struggled with substance abuse. Of that number, 75% fail to seek treatment for their addiction. It is also estimated that 8.5 million people have a dual diagnosis where they have a co-occurring mental illness along with drug addiction. This condition is challenging to treat and requires specialized help.
In 2020, there were 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States. Drug overdoses have now become the leading cause of death in this country. The third-leading cause of death in the United States is alcohol, with an estimated 95,000 people. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is also responsible for 28% of all driving fatalities and comprises 18.5 percent of all emergency room visits. For those who do become clean and sober, the chances of relapse are surprisingly high. It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of those in recovery will relapse at least once during their recovery.
Do You Need Help With a Drug and Alcohol Addiction?
Drug and alcohol addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives. If you are struggling with substance abuse, you may feel hopeless and feel you are fighting a losing battle. While you may feel hopeless, help is just a phone call away. The Last House is a sober living facility in Los Angeles specifically tailored for the unique needs of men who are seeking recovery. We offer outpatient and aftercare programs that are customized to fit your unique and specific needs.
Our staff has over 30 years of combined experience in the addiction treatment field. Our programs, services, and support will transform your life. In addition to our programs, we offer fun and engaging activities such as basketball, surfing programs, sober softball leagues, snowboarding, ski trips, among other activities. The support network built at The Last House will motivate and empower you to live a fulfilling life in recovery.