While specific statistics can be worrying, it’s important to know the scope of an issue to address it. Drug addiction is a long-standing issue in the United States, but what is the current state of this problem? With drug addiction we can help provide the information you need. Let’s take a look at some drug addiction statistics to find out.
Substance Use Disorders in the U.S.
According to the 2016 Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators report from SAMHSA, around 20.1 million people 12 and older had a substance use disorder within the past year and were in need of drug addiction help. This represents over 7% of the population of that age group. Clearly, substance abuse is a significant problem. But how do these drug addiction statistics break down? Here are some details about a few substances that people commonly abuse.
Heroin is a significant part of the ongoing opioid epidemic. However, how many people are addicted to this substance? In 2016, around 626,000 people 12 and older met the criteria for a heroin use disorder. While this number is higher than those reported from 2002-2010, it’s relatively similar to what SAMHSA reported from 2011-2015. While it’s too soon to tell if heroin addictions are leveling off, the numbers remaining steady is certainly better than an increase.
In its reporting, SAMHSA includes heroin in its opioid use disorder statistics. In addition to those statistics, it also reports on pain reliever use disorder to get a complete picture of opioid addiction. An estimated 2.1 million people 12 and up in 2016 met the standards for opioid dependence within the past year. This number translates to almost 1% of the 12 and older population. Clearly, these drug addiction statistics show that this is a pervasive issue.
There is currently a lot of controversy surrounding the use of marijuana. While many believe this substance to be non-addictive, that’s not the case. In fact, in 2016 around 4 million people ages 12 and up met the criteria for marijuana use disorder over the last year. This amounts to 1.5% of that population. While this number is lower than reports from the early 2000s, rates of marijuana addiction have kept stable in recent years.
What Should We Do With These Drug Addiction Statistics?
Looking at addiction statistics can be startling. However, it’s vital not just to ignore this problem. Due to how common it is, virtually everyone knows someone that struggles with substance abuse.
It’s important to recognize that addiction is a public health crisis, not a moral one. Experts now know that addiction is a disease, and should receive treatment as any other mental illness would.
Use these drug addiction statistics to empower yourself to fight against addiction stigma and seek help for those in your life that are struggling. If you’re struggling yourself, seek treatment sooner rather than later. This act can keep you from being a statistic.