Addiction Statistics in The United States
Addiction in the United States affects millions of people every year and continues to rise. Addiction is a chronic, complex brain disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and the inability to stop using drugs despite the harmful consequences.
Addiction affects not only the person struggling but also their families and society as a whole. For example, addiction issues cost this country more than $740 billion each year due to lost work, its effects on health care, and drug-related crimes.
Rate of Drug Use in the United States
The most commonly used drugs in this country are tobacco, alcohol, opioids (both prescription and illicit), marijuana, methamphetamines, and stimulants (both prescription and illicit).
Alcohol is the number one most used substance in the United States, with a rate of 139.8 million people. Tobacco comes in at number two with a rate of 58.8 million people. Marijuana and prescription stimulants use affects 2.9 million people. Methamphetamine use affects 2.2 million, prescription opioids affect 1.9 million, heroin affects about 957,000 people, and cocaine affects about 638,000. Why is the drug use rate so high, and why does addiction continue to rise? What is causing this?
Why Is Addiction On The Rise?
Addiction is on the rise in the United States for several reasons. One factor that has contributed to the rise is the Covid-19 pandemic that struck the world by storm in 2020. This pandemic has caused not only addiction and drug use to rise, but it has also caused mental health disorders to increase significantly. One of the other reasons drug use has risen is stress. People are more stressed out and don’t know how to cope so they use drugs.
Untreated mental illnesses can also contribute to this factor. Legalization is another reason it could be on the rise. With recreational marijuana being legal in many states, drug use has become more acceptable. Marijuana was also once considered to be a gateway drug which could also be a contributing factor. One last reason addiction continues to increase is due to the opioid epidemic. This has been an ongoing problem for the last 15 years, and things aren’t getting any better.
What are the Addiction Statistics In The United States?
Let’s look at some addiction statistics in the US. The National Institutes of Health “10 percent of US adults have drug use disorder at some point in their lives” says:
A survey of American adults revealed that drug use disorder is common, co-occurs with many mental health disorders, and often goes untreated. The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that about 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for drug use disorder in the past year, and about 10 percent have had drug use disorder at some time in their lives. “Based on these findings, more than 23 million adults in the United States have struggled with problematic drug use,” said George F. Koob, Ph.D., NIAAA director. (NIH)
The troubling statistic here is that 75 percent of people report not receiving any form of treatment. As a country, we’ve got to do a better job with this. People are dying every day from substance abuse, and it’s only getting worse.
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