74 Adult Addiction Statistics: How Many People are Addicted?

Addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. While addiction may be more commonly associated with drugs and alcohol, it can also manifest in other forms, such as gambling, food, and even technology.

Published On

October 1, 2023

Addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. While addiction may be more commonly associated with drugs and alcohol, it can also manifest in other forms, such as gambling, food, and even technology.

Top 10 Key Adult Addiction Statistics

  1. Nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction.
  2. Over 23 million Americans are in recovery from addiction.
  3. 90% of people who struggle with addiction started using before the age of 18.
  4. Addiction costs the U.S. economy over $600 billion each year.
  5. Only 10% of people with addiction receive treatment.
  6. Men are more likely than women to struggle with addiction.
  7. Nearly 50% of people with addiction also have a mental health disorder.
  8. In 2019, the opioid epidemic claimed the lives of over 50,000 Americans.
  9. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  10. Over 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.

Statistics On Adult Alcohol Addiction And Abuse

  • In the United States, 14.5 million adults (aged 18 and older) had alcohol use disorder in 2019.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption led to an estimated 95,000 deaths in the United States each year from 2011 to 2015.
  • Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States in 2019.
  • Nearly one-third of adults who abuse alcohol also have a mental illness.
  • Binge drinking is more common among young adults aged between 18 and 34 years old.
  • Studies suggest that people with a family history of alcoholism are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those without such a history.
  • The economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption in the United States was estimated to be $249 billion in 2010.

Statistics On Adult Opioid Addiction And Abuse

  • In 2019, an estimated 10 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in the United States.
  • Opioid overdoses increased by nearly 30% from July 2019 to July 2020.
  • Prescription opioid misuse is a significant risk factor for heroin use, with about 80% of people who used heroin first misusing prescription opioids.
  • The opioid epidemic is not limited to the United States; Canada has also experienced a surge in opioid-related deaths and hospitalizations.
  • Opioid addiction can have serious health consequences, including respiratory depression, overdose, and infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.
  • The economic burden of the opioid epidemic in the United States was estimated to be over $78 billion in 2013 alone.

Statistics On Adult Heroin Addiction And Abuse

  • Heroin use has increased significantly in recent years, with an estimated 886,000 people aged 12 or older using heroin in the United States in 2019.
  • In 2018, nearly 15,000 people died from a heroin overdose in the United States.
  • Heroin addiction can cause a range of physical and mental health problems, including liver and kidney disease, depression, and anxiety.
  • Long-term heroin use can lead to tolerance, meaning that users need increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effects.
  • Withdrawal symptoms from heroin can be severe and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and insomnia.

Statistics On Adult Marijuana Addiction And Abuse

  • In 2019, approximately 4.5 million people aged 12 or older had marijuana use disorder in the United States.
  • The potency of marijuana has increased significantly over the past few decades, with average THC concentrations rising from less than 4% in the 1980s to nearly 13% in 2017.
  • Heavy marijuana use can lead to respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis and lung infections.
  • The average batch of Marijuana in 1990 contained less than 4% THC, but that percentage has since risen to over 12%.
  • Roughly 10% of all Marijuana users will become addicted to the drug.
  • Around 17% of all who start using the drug as minors become addicted.

Statistics On Adult Nicotine Addiction And Abuse

  • In 2019, an estimated 34.1 million adults in the United States were current cigarette smokers.
  • E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among young people; in 2019, over 5 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the past month.
  • People who are disabled, live below the poverty line, or lack a college education are more likely to smoke cigarettes.
  • Over 16 million Americans have a smoking-related illness.
  • Smoking cigarettes is the cause of over 480,000 deaths every year in the United States.

Statistics On Methamphetamine Addiction And Abuse

  • Methamphetamine use is on the rise in the United States, with an estimated 1.6 million people aged 12 or older using methamphetamine in 2019.
  • In 2018, there were over 10,000 deaths involving psychostimulants like methamphetamine in the United States.
  • About 964,000 Americans are addicted to Meth.
  • Meth tested by the DEA had an average of 97.2% purity in the first half of 2019.
  • Just over 1% of 8th graders had tried Meth as of 2020.

Statistics On Hallucinogen Addiction And Abuse

  • In 2019, an estimated 5.6 million people aged 12 or older used hallucinogens in the United States.
  • LSD and psilocybin (found in "magic mushrooms") are some of the most commonly used hallucinogens.
  • Almost 8% of all 12th graders had used Hallucinogens at least once as of 2020.
  • Donors gave $17 million to Johns Hopkins for the study of Hallucinogenic therapy.
  • Roughly 20 million Americans have taken LSD.

Statistics On Inhalant Addiction And Abuse

  • Inhalant abuse is most common among young people, with the majority of users starting before the age of 18.
  • According to a national survey, 1 in 5 American teenagers have used inhalants to get high.
  • Inhalants can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, liver and kidney damage, and hearing loss.
  • The most commonly abused inhalants include glue, gasoline, paint thinner, and aerosol sprays.

Adult Addiction Prevalence in Women

While addiction affects people of all genders, women face unique challenges when it comes to substance abuse. Here are 10 statistics that shed light on addiction among women:

  • Nearly one in five women in the United States have reported misusing prescription drugs at some point in their lives.
  • The number of overdose deaths among women has increased dramatically in recent years; between 1999 and 2017, the rate of drug overdose deaths among women aged 30–64 increased by over 260%.
  • More than 41 million adult women in the United States suffered from a mental disorder and/or substance use disorder.
  • 4 in 9 (7.4 million) women with a substance use disorder struggled with illicit drugs.
  • 7 in 10 (12.2 million) women with a substance use disorder struggled with alcohol use.
  • 1 in 7 (2.5 million) women with a substance use disorder struggled with both alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • More than 16% of women between the ages of 18 and 25 had an alcohol use disorder in the past year.
  • Over 5 million women misused opioids and over 1.5 million women had an opioid use disorder.
  • The most commonly used illicit drug among pregnant women aged 15 to 44 was marijuana.

Adult Addiction Prevalence in Men

  • Approximately one in four men in the United States have engaged in binge drinking in the past month.
  • Men are more likely than women to use nearly all types of illicit drugs, with the exception of prescription drugs.
  • In 2019, over 10 million men aged 12 or older misused opioids in the United States.
  • Men are more likely than women to die from drug overdose; in 2018, over two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths were among men.
  • Over 25% of men who drink heavily also report experiencing depression and anxiety.
  • Men are more likely than women to report using marijuana; approximately one-third of all male adults have used marijuana in their lifetime.
  • In 2019, an estimated 1.4 million men aged 12 or older used hallucinogens in the United States.
  • Methamphetamine use is more common among men than women; approximately two-thirds of people who use methamphetamine are male.
  • Tobacco use is more common among men than women; in 2019, an estimated 17.5% of adult men smoked cigarettes compared to just under 13% of adult women.
  • Men who experience chronic stress are at a higher risk for developing substance abuse disorders.

Adult Addiction Prevalence by Age

  • Adolescents (aged 12-17) who smoke cigarettes are more likely to use alcohol and illicit drugs than non-smokers.
  • Young adults (aged 18-25) have the highest rates of substance abuse disorders of any age group.
  • The majority of people who develop addiction do so before the age of 30.
  • Older adults (aged 65 and older) are more likely to misuse prescription medications than younger adults.
  • Adults aged 26-34 have the highest rate of opioid overdose deaths.
  • Methamphetamine use is most common among young adults aged 18-25.
  • Heroin use is most common among adults aged 18-25 and those aged 26-34.
  • Alcohol use disorder is most prevalent among adults aged 30-44.
  • Rates of marijuana use are highest among young adults aged 18-25, but usage has increased among older adults in recent years.
  • Inhalant abuse is most common among adolescents, with over one in five inhalant users starting before the age of 14.

Adult Addiction Prevalence by Race

  • Native Americans have the highest rate of substance abuse and addiction among all racial groups in the United States.
  • African Americans are more likely to experience drug-related deaths than any other racial group.
  • White Americans have the highest rate of alcohol consumption and binge drinking, as well as prescription drug misuse.
  • Hispanic Americans are more likely to use drugs than non-Hispanic whites, but less likely to develop substance use disorders.
  • Asian Americans have lower rates of substance abuse and addiction compared to other racial groups, but they are not immune to these problems.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native high school students have higher rates of current cigarette use, marijuana use, cocaine use, and methamphetamine use than their white counterparts.
  • Black adults were 20% more likely than white adults to report serious psychological distress in the past year.
  • Hispanic men aged 18–25 had a higher rate of heroin use disorder compared with white men in the same age group.
  • Among people aged 12 or older who misused prescription pain relievers in the past year, white people were more likely than people of other races/ethnicities to obtain them through a prescription from one doctor rather than by buying them from a dealer or getting them from friends or relatives for free.
  • Black male high school students (14.8%) were more likely than white male (10.3%) and Hispanic male (9.4%) students to have used cocaine in their lifetime.

These statistics demonstrate the widespread impact of addiction on individuals, families, and communities. It is important to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.

Sources:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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