You're Not Alone: Addiction Statistics in the United States

Posted by Prelude on Jan 30, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Stories-1.jpgWhether you’re struggling with a drug problem, alcoholism, or any another addiction, know that you’ll never be alone.  First off, you’ve found yourself here seeking some answers, and, at Prelude, we’re here for you.  No matter where you are, or who you are, you can count on us to provide the resources you need to begin your steps to recovery. You’ve also got your family, friends and countless other support groups and systems that you can lean on for some help.  

You should also know that you are not alone in your struggles.  Americans everywhere are dealing with the same issues as you. So, when you start to feel like it’s only you, please consider these sobering statistics according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Alcohol is still the most widely-used drug in the United States.  Although, most people who consume alcohol don’t develop an addiction, some people are different and are not able to consume alcohol without abusing it.  Here are some numbers to consider.

  • Almost 50% of people aged 12 and over have consumed alcohol in the United States.
  • Alcohol dependence will affect close to 17% of the US population at some point. (17% men, 8% women)
  • Around 10 to 15 million people in the United States can be categorized as alcoholics. (Of those, approximately 4.5 million are adolescents.)
  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 79,000 deaths can be contributed to the result of excessive alcohol consumption each year. It is the third highest lifestyle related cause of death in the country.
  • Approximately 2,000 people who aren’t legal drinking age die each year in car crashes due to alcohol consumption.
  • The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences reports that alcohol abuse and alcoholism costs America anywhere in the range of $40 to $60 billion every year.
  • In Iowa, about 178,000 adults aged 21 or older (8.2% of all adults in this age group) per year in 2009–2013 reported heavy alcohol use..

Drug Abuse Statistics

Drug abuse, as well as alcoholism, is also a huge concern for our country. According to the the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the abuse of drugs costs the United States over $600 billion annually in health care, crime and loss of productivity. When NIDA crunched numbers, they revealed that, of the dollars spent, $181 billion was lost on illicit drugs and $235 billion on alcohol. Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs (27 percent.)  The cost to the individual, though, is often times more than financial. Drug (and alcohol) abuse can lead to disarray and sometimes the end to relationships, child and spouse abuse, and employment problems.  

  • 27 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the 30 days prior to the survey.
    • This translates to 10.2% of Americans.
    • This percentage is the highest it has been since 2001.
    • These results are driven mainly by marijuana use and the illicit use of prescription pain relievers.
    • 22.2 million current marijuana users were of the age of 12 or older (in the 30 days prior to the survey.)
    • 4.3 million people, 12 or older reported current nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers (in the 30 days prior to the survey)
  • The use of many types of other illicit drugs has not increased in recent years. However, the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current heroin users was higher than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2013.
  • In Iowa, about 42,000 individuals aged 12 or older (1.7% of all individuals in this age group) were dependent on or abused illicit drugs within the year prior to being surveyed.

The bottom line is you should know that wherever you look, someone may be dealing with the exact same problems as you.  Know that you are not alone in your fight, and know that today is a great day to fight. We’ll be right there in your corner with you whenever you’re ready.


Topics: Addicton

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At Prelude, we work tirelessly to improve the lives of individuals, their families, and members of their communities.

From prevention to intensive residential care, Prelude offers a range of services to help you and your loved one lead a full, productive life.  Prelude Behavioral Services has been providing comprehensive services since 1969. We are committed to serving hard-to-reach and disenfranchised populations and to breaking down barriers that hinder access to behavioral health care for all Iowans.



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