Statistics on Drug Addictions

Statistics on Drug Addictions

Drug and alcohol addiction has become more prevalent in recent times from the easy access to prescription drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone and when it does occur, the person and family members are affected physically, emotionally and psychologically. It is easy to feel alone in the addiction if you do not have anyone to help. But there are lots of people in the United States with similar problems. Here is a collection of statistics that show how widespread the issues of addiction are.

Emergency Room Drug-Related Visits

When abuse begins to take over a person’s life, there is no drug that is better or worse than the other. The Drug Abuse Network, DAWN, is a division of the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration and they compile a report every year that shows the amount of emergency room visits that are related to substance abuse. In 2009, there were 2.1 million visits, in the United States, to the emergency departments in hospitals. So, that means there are more than 5,000 visits every day to the emergency room that are related to drug abuse.

There is a wide range of drugs that are being misused and abused. Many of them are specifically related to prescription pills such as Vicodin, Xanax, or Lortab. Others are illicit drugs, such as heroin and methamphetamines, and alcohol. Here are the percentage breakdowns in emergency room visits from 2004-2009:

  • 117% increase: Nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals alone
  • 97% increase: Pharmaceuticals mixed with illicit drugs
  • 63% increase: Pharmaceuticals with alcohol
  • 76% increase: Pharmaceuticals with illicit drugs and alcohol

Drug Addictions Treatment Programs

Going into a treatment program is the best way to help treat an addiction. Many people may feel embarrassed and/or ashamed of going into a treatment, so a lot of people keep their treatment private. Because the privacy policy is very strict, the exact amount of people attending treatment for drug addiction is not entirely accurate. Many people also attend treatment more than one time in their lives. There is a system called Treatment Episode Date Set that gathers information on a number of admissions to treatment and rehab centers. In the United States in 2007, there was approximately 1.8 million that were admitted.

There was another study that in 2009 conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It concluded that 23.5 million individuals suffered from drug and alcohol abuse. Only 11.2% (2.1 million people) were able to seek help at a facility for drug and alcohol abuse.

 Heroin Addiction Treatment

In 1997, there were 235,143 admissions for heroin treatment. In 2002 a number of admissions peaked at 287,157 and then In 2007, the number decreased to 246,871 treatment admissions.

That is a 350% increase in heroin production. The 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment for heroin concluded that the purity of the drug is increasing and the cost is decreasing. This is mainly due to the Mexican drug cartels that produce around 38 metric tons of pure cocaine every year.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

  • In 1997, smoked cocaine had 174,900 admissions while non-smoked cocaine had 61,870 admissions
  • The peak years of cocaine admission occurred in 2006 with 74,764 admissions for non-smoked cocaine and in 1990, 186,973 for smoked cocaine.
  • The amount dropped in 2007 to 66,858 admissions for non-smoked cocaine and 167,914 for smoked cocaine.