Drug and Alcohol Addiction Statistics

  • In 2001, almost 17 million Americans aged 12 or older abused or were dependent on either alcohol or illicit drugs (NHSDA, Substance Abuse or Dependence).
  • The highest rate of abuse or dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs was among 21 year olds (ibid.).
  • Among full-time workers aged 18 to 49 in 2000, 8.1 percent reported past month heavy alcohol use, and 7.8 percent reported past month illicit drug use (NHSDA, Substance Use, Dependence or Abuse among Full-Time Workers).
  • Based on SAMHSA's National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, in 2001 more than 6 million children lived with at least one parent who abused or was dependent on alcohol or an illicit drug during the past year (NHSDA, Children Living with Substance Abusing or Substance Dependent Parents). 
  • In 2006, about 10.8 million persons (28.3 percent) ages 12-20 reported drinking in the past month (National Institute on Drug Abuse, "InfoFacts: Nationwide Trends").
  • An estimated 30.5 million people (12.4 percent) aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once during 2006 (ibid.).
  • In the 5 years between 2002 and 2006, the level of current marijuana use among persons aged 12 to 17 years declined from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006 (ibid.).
  • Current cocaine use has remained stable between 2002 and 2006 (there were 2.4 million users in 2006 aged 12 or older); however, a positive trend is the decline in use of crack cocaine, particularly among younger age groups (ibid.).
  • Of concern is the increase in past-month nonmedical use of prescription drugs among young adults aged 18 to 25, from 5.4 percent in 2002 to 6.4 percent in 2006 (ibid.)
  • Among respondents aged 18 or older, males were more likely than females to be dependent on or abusing alcohol or an illicit drug. Among those aged 18 to 25, the rate of dependence or abuse was 26.3% for males and 15.7% for females. Among those aged 26 or older, males were twice as likely as females to be dependent on or abusing alcohol or an illicit drug. The rate of substance dependence or abuse for those age 50 or older was 4.9% for males and 1.5% for females. (NHSDA, Gender Differences in Substance Dependence and Abuse).
  • Between 1988 and 1995, Americans spent $57.3 billion on drugs, broken down as follows: $38 billion on cocaine, $9.6 billion on heroin, $7 billion on marijuana, and $2.7 billion on other illegal drugs and on the misuse of legal drugs (1995 Drug Control Strategy, The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy).


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