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80+ Adult Addiction Statistics & Facts: How Many People Are Addicted?

Adult addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people worldwide. From drugs and alcohol to gambling and video games, addiction can take many forms and have devastating consequences on an individual's health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Adult Addiction Statistics

  • Approximately 20.4 million adults in the United States have a substance use disorder.
  • Alcohol addiction affects an estimated 14.4 million adults in the U.S.
  • Over 8 million adults in the U.S. have a co-occurring mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.
  • Prescription drug abuse affects about 18 million adults in the U.S.
  • Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug among adults, with around 43.5 million users in the U.S.
  • Approximately 2.1 million adults in the U.S. struggle with opioid addiction.
  • Cocaine addiction affects about 2.3 million adults in the U.S.
  • Methamphetamine addiction impacts approximately 1.6 million adults in the U.S.
  • Heroin addiction affects an estimated 626,000 adults in the U.S.
  • Around 4.8 million adults in the U.S. misuse prescription pain relievers.
  • Over 4.5 million adults in the U.S. misuse prescription stimulants.
  • Benzodiazepine addiction affects about 1.5 million adults in the U.S.
  • Tobacco addiction is prevalent among adults, with approximately 34.2 million smokers in the U.S.
  • About 95% of adults who struggle with addiction began using substances before the age of 18.
  • Adults aged 18 to 25 have the highest rates of illicit drug use.
  • Over 17% of adults who misuse prescription drugs obtain them from a friend or relative for free.
  • The overall economic cost of substance abuse in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $600 billion annually.
  • Only about 10% of adults with a substance use disorder receive treatment.
  • Men are more likely than women to develop a substance use disorder.
  • Approximately 26% of adults aged 18 to 25 binge drink.

Most Common Addiction

  1. Alcohol Addiction: Approximately 14.4 million adults in the United States have an alcohol use disorder.
  2. Prescription Drug Abuse: About 18 million adults in the U.S. misuse prescription drugs, including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.
  3. Cannabis Use: Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug among adults, with approximately 43.5 million users in the U.S.
  4. Opioid Addiction: An estimated 2.1 million adults in the U.S. struggle with opioid addiction, including prescription painkillers and heroin.
  5. Cocaine Addiction: Cocaine addiction affects about 2.3 million adults in the U.S.
  6. Methamphetamine Addiction: Approximately 1.6 million adults in the U.S. are impacted by methamphetamine addiction.
  7. Tobacco Addiction: Around 34.2 million adults in the U.S. are smokers, indicating nicotine addiction.
  8. Dual Diagnosis: Over 8 million adults in the U.S. have a co-occurring mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, highlighting the complexity of addiction.
  9. Treatment Gap: Only about 10% of adults with a substance use disorder receive treatment, indicating a significant treatment gap.
  10. Economic Impact: The overall economic cost of substance abuse in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $600 billion annually, underscoring the financial burden of addiction on society.

These statistics provide a snapshot of some of the most prevalent types of addiction and their impact on individuals and society. Addiction is a complex issue, and each person's experience may differ.

U.S. and International Addiction Statistics & Facts | FHE Health
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  • Over 20% of adults with a mental health disorder also have a substance use disorder.
  • Alcohol is a factor in approximately 40% of violent crimes committed by adults.
  • Over 30% of adults involved in fatal car accidents had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit.
  • Approximately 60% of adults who misuse prescription pain relievers obtain them from a doctor.
  • Around 75% of adults with a substance use disorder also smoke cigarettes.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are at a higher risk of developing other chronic health conditions.
  • Over 90% of adults with an addiction began using substances before the age of 18.
  • Adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse or neglect, increase the risk of developing an addiction in adulthood.
  • Over 10% of pregnant women in the U.S. use illicit drugs.
  • Substance abuse during pregnancy can lead to numerous health complications for both the mother and the baby.
  • Approximately 20% of adults with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring anxiety disorder.
  • Over 50% of adults with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mood disorder.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are at a higher risk of suicide.
  • The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has resulted in a significant increase in overdose deaths among adults.
  • About 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
  • Over 2.1 million adults in the U.S. misused opioids in 2020.
  • In 2019, there were over 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., with opioids involved in the majority of cases.
  • Methamphetamine-related overdose deaths among adults increased by over 30% from 2018 to 2019.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are more likely to experience unemployment and financial difficulties.
  • Over 20% of adults with a substance use disorder have been involved in a violent altercation.

Most Common Causes of Addiction Statistics

While addiction can have multiple contributing factors, here are some common causes of addiction and related statistics:

  1. Genetics: Genetic factors can contribute to addiction vulnerability. Studies suggest that genetic influences account for about 40-60% of a person's risk of developing an addiction.
  2. Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Traumatic events, abuse, neglect, or other adverse childhood experiences can increase the risk of developing an addiction later in life. Approximately 2 out of 3 people in addiction treatment programs report a history of trauma or ACEs.
  3. Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders: Many individuals with addiction also have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nearly 8 million adults in the U.S. have co-occurring disorders.
  4. Social Environment: Social factors, such as peer pressure, social norms, and exposure to substance use, can significantly influence the development of addiction. For example, having friends or family members who engage in substance abuse increases the risk of addiction.
  5. Stress and Coping Mechanisms: Chronic stress, unresolved emotional issues, or difficulties coping with life's challenges can lead some individuals to turn to substance abuse as a way to self-medicate or escape from their problems.
  6. Availability and Accessibility: The availability and accessibility of addictive substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, play a significant role in addiction rates. Easy access to drugs or alcohol increases the likelihood of substance abuse and addiction.
  7. Early Substance Use: Early initiation of substance use, particularly during adolescence, increases the risk of developing an addiction. Approximately 9% of individuals who start using drugs or alcohol before the age of 18 will develop a substance use disorder.
  8. Prescription Drug Misuse: Misuse of prescription drugs, including opioids, stimulants, and sedatives, can lead to addiction. Around 18 million adults in the U.S. misuse prescription drugs.
  9. Peer Influence: Peer pressure and the influence of friends or social circles can contribute to the development of addictive behaviors. Studies show that adolescents are particularly vulnerable to peer influence regarding substance use.
  10. Lack of Education and Awareness: Limited knowledge and awareness about the risks and consequences of substance abuse can contribute to addiction rates. Education and prevention efforts are crucial in addressing addiction.

These statistics highlight some common causes of addiction, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of this issue. It's important to approach addiction from a holistic perspective, considering biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors to effectively prevent and treat addiction.


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  • Substance abuse among adults is a significant contributing factor to homelessness.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.
  • Approximately 40% of child abuse cases involve substance abuse by the caregiver.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder have a higher rate of divorce and unstable relationships.
  • In 2019, nearly 2 million adults in the U.S. had a methamphetamine use disorder.
  • Cannabis addiction affects around 4 million adults in the U.S.
  • Over 30% of adults aged 18 to 25 used illicit drugs in the past month.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are more likely to have a history of trauma or adverse life events.
  • Over 25% of adults with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Approximately 45% of adults with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring personality disorder.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are more likely to have difficulties with impulse control and decision-making.
  • In 2019, there were over 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the U.S.
  • Substance abuse is a leading cause of preventable deaths among adults.
  • Over 60% of adults who struggle with addiction also have a comorbid chronic medical condition.
  • The use of illicit drugs among adults is associated with an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are more likely to experience cognitive impairments and memory problems.
  • Over 80% of adults with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring nicotine addiction.
  • The stigma surrounding addiction prevents many adults from seeking help and treatment.
  • Over 30% of adults who receive treatment for addiction also have a mental health disorder.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder have a higher rate of involvement in the criminal justice system.
  • Over 50% of adults in state prisons have a substance use disorder.
  • In 2020, drug overdose deaths among adults reached a record high in several countries.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated addiction issues among adults due to increased stress and isolation.
  • Adults with a substance use disorder are more likely to experience chronic pain.
  • Access to evidence-based addiction treatment programs is limited for many adults, particularly those in underserved communities.

Addiction Statistics & Facts by Country

Canada:

  1. In Canada, an estimated 5.6 million people meet the criteria for a substance use disorder.
  2. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance, with over 80% of Canadians reporting alcohol use.
  3. Opioid addiction has been a significant concern, with opioid-related deaths increasing in recent years.
  4. Cannabis use is prevalent, with Canada legalizing its recreational use in 2018.

United Kingdom:

  1. In the United Kingdom, around 2.7 million adults are estimated to have a substance use disorder.
  2. Alcohol-related hospital admissions have been increasing, with over one million admissions each year.
  3. The opioid crisis has also affected the UK, with a rise in opioid-related deaths and hospital admissions.
  4. Cannabis use is common, with around 7.2% of adults using it in the past year.

Australia:

  1. In Australia, it is estimated that around 15% of the population aged 14 and older have a substance use disorder.
  2. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance, with about 76% of Australians reporting alcohol consumption in the past year.
  3. Methamphetamine (ice) use has been a significant concern, with increasing rates of dependence and related harms.
  4. Cannabis use is prevalent, with approximately 10% of Australians reporting recent use.

Russia:

  1. Russia has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world, with heavy episodic drinking being a common pattern.
  2. Opioid use has been a significant issue in Russia, with a high prevalence of heroin use and related health problems.
  3. Alcohol and drug-related mortality rates in Russia are among the highest globally.

Addiction Statistics by States

West Virginia:

  • West Virginia has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic.
  • In 2020, West Virginia had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, with 52.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

New Hampshire:

  • New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of opioid-related deaths in the country.
  • In 2020, New Hampshire had the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 38.6 deaths per 100,000 population.

Ohio:

  • Ohio has been heavily affected by the opioid crisis.
  • In 2020, Ohio had the third-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 38.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

Kentucky:

  • Kentucky has a high rate of drug overdose deaths, particularly due to opioids.
  • In 2020, Kentucky had the fourth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 34.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

Rhode Island:

  • Rhode Island has experienced significant opioid-related issues.
  • In 2020, Rhode Island had the fifth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 34.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic.
  • In 2020, Pennsylvania had the sixth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 31.5 deaths per 100,000 population.

Maine:

  • Maine has a high rate of opioid-related deaths.
  • In 2020, Maine had the seventh-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 31.0 deaths per 100,000 population.

Delaware:

  • Delaware has been affected by the opioid crisis.
  • In 2020, Delaware had the eighth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 29.8 deaths per 100,000 population.

Maryland:

  • Maryland has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic.
  • In 2020, Maryland had the ninth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 29.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

Connecticut:

  • Connecticut has experienced high rates of opioid-related deaths.
  • In 2020, Connecticut had the tenth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths, with 28.4 deaths per 100,000 population.

Most Common and Effective Treatment for Addiction

The most common and effective treatment for addiction varies depending on the individual's specific needs and the substance or behavior involved. Here are some statistics on common and effective treatments for addiction:

Behavioral Therapies:

  • Behavioral therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Contingency Management, are widely used and effective in treating substance use disorders.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), CBT is effective in reducing drug use and preventing relapse.
  • Studies have shown that contingency management, which uses positive reinforcement, is effective in promoting abstinence and encouraging treatment retention.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT):

  • MAT combines behavioral therapies with medications to treat substance use disorders, particularly opioid and alcohol addiction.
  • Medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are commonly used in MAT.
  • Research shows that MAT reduces opioid use, overdose deaths, and criminal activity while improving treatment retention and outcomes.

12-Step Programs:

  • Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) follow a 12-step model and are widely accessible.
  • These programs emphasize peer support, accountability, and working through the steps to achieve and maintain sobriety.
  • Studies have shown positive outcomes for individuals who actively participate in 12-step programs.

Residential or Inpatient Treatment:

  • Residential or inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility where individuals receive intensive therapy and support in a structured environment.
  • This type of treatment is particularly beneficial for individuals with severe addiction or those requiring a higher level of care.
  • Residential treatment has been associated with improved outcomes, including reduced substance use and improved psychosocial functioning.

Outpatient Treatment:

  • Outpatient treatment programs offer counseling, therapy, and support while allowing individuals to live at home and continue their daily activities.
  • Outpatient treatment is effective for individuals with less severe addiction or as a step-down treatment after completing inpatient care.
  • Research suggests that outpatient treatment can lead to reduced substance use and improved functioning.

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