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Alcohol Facts and Statistics National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

We found that if a user takes heroin five times a day, they would lose over 60% of their life, which is equal parts gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. If a user takes methadone pills at that same rate, they could lose 56% of their lives and meth users would lose 54%. These statistics shed light on the immense impact drug addiction has on individuals and their families.

  • Physiological changes that occur with aging leave older adults more vulnerable to the ill effects of alcohol and drugs, as metabolism and excretion of substances slow down, increasing the risk of toxicity.
  • Moreover, as individuals age, the number of prescribed medicines typically increases.
  • The idea of young individuals engaging with such a hazardous illicit drug is deeply concerning.
  • Sold in the form of white crystalline rocks intended for smoking, Meth poses severe risks to one’s health due to its highly addictive and hazardous nature.
  • When looking at weekly habits, the numbers were much lower but still eye-opening.
  • Some research suggests that e-cigarettes might be less harmful than cigarettes when people who regularly smoke switch to vaping as a complete replacement.

More than 104,000 Americans died due to a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in September 2021. Explore how many people ages 18 to 25 engage in alcohol misuse in the United States and the impact it has. Learn how many people ages 12 to 20 engage in underage alcohol misuse in the United States and the impact it has.

Substance Abuse Statistics

When looking at the daily use of the four substances, we found that if users take any of them even once per day, they could lose at least 10 years off of their life. Additionally, if users take any of these drugs 5 times per day, they could subtract between years off of their life, which is horrifying to think about. Overall, 62% of U.S. adults say they ever drink alcohol, while 38% abstain completely, according to a July 2023 Gallup survey.

  • America consumed 9.6 liters of alcohol per capita in 2019, making it relatively high compared to some countries, especially those outside Europe.
  • Among those ages 35 to 54, the shares who do these things have remained relatively stable over time.
  • Discover how many people with alcohol use disorder in the United States receive treatment across age groups and demographics.

“Instant gratification and constant stimulation shape societal values and expectations. Coupled with lax regulations around substances and pervasive advertising, Americans face a uniquely temptation-steeped environment.” Americans 55 and older, on the other hand, are more likely than their counterparts two decades ago to say they do all of these things. Among those ages 35 to 54, the shares who do these things have remained relatively stable over time. Per-capita alcohol consumption peaked in the early 1980s at 3.28 gallons, or almost 700 drinks. It bottomed out in the late 1990s at 2.45 gallons per person, or about 523 drinks.


At each variable, they were within one or two years of each other, while the other two drugs had much larger gaps between them by comparison. Among adults who don’t drink, the most common reason given is that they just don’t want to, the Gallup survey found. About a quarter of nondrinkers (24%) say in an open-ended question that they substance abuse in older adults have no desire to drink or do not want to. From 5,419 deaths in 2014, the toll of cocaine-related fatalities soared to 19,447 by 2020, signifying a significant increase in deaths linked to cocaine use over the past few years. Discover the impact alcohol has on children living with a parent or caregiver with alcohol use disorder.

Between 1990 and 2004, the number of non-medical users of prescription opioids went from 600,000 to over 2.4 million, which is pretty high. Reflecting on 2015, we can hope for a decline in drug use and an increase in individuals seeking help and treatment for drug addiction. Methamphetamine stands as a dangerous illicit drug, posing severe risks to individuals’ lives. It has a devastating impact on families and contributes significantly to fatal overdoses. Unfortunately, most drug addictions have destructive effects and can tear families apart unless individuals seek assistance. Those numbers pale in comparison to the percentages seen with heroin use, however.

Alcohol Use & Alcoholism Statistics in the U.S.

Treatment often includes age-specific addiction support groups that allow seniors to motivate their peers and receive support from other individuals struggling with similar disorders and hardships. Among this age group, roughly 10.6 million individuals faced alcohol use disorder, which constituted 2% of that population. Additionally, about 4.3 million adults in this age range struggled with illicit drug use disorder in the same year. Shockingly, only a small fraction, approximately 10%, of those grappling with substance abuse actively seek or receive the necessary assistance. Factors such as unawareness about the need for treatment, refusal to seek help, or inadequate resources and support can contribute to this low figure.

  • This includes 32% whose most recent drink was in the last 24 hours, and 37% who most recently had one within the last two to seven days.
  • When it comes to drug rehabilitation treatment, success rates typically fall within the range of 40% to 60%.

Here are 10 key facts about Americans’ behaviors and attitudes when it comes to drinking alcohol and how these have changed over time, drawn from surveys and sales data. Their stricter household environments and lower levels of recreational drinking passed down to children often deter the development of these habits. Drug addiction casts dark shadows across communities as numbers continue to spotlight its devastating impacts. In coming years, overdose fatalities are projected to climb another 14% to a staggering 102,000 deaths annually nationwide. Behind these bleak statistics lie shattered lives and families struggling to break free.

Approximately 2.55 Million Middle and High School Students Using Tobacco Products.

Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to lung diseases and cancer in non-smokers, similar to the risks faced by active smokers. Americans prescribed and abused not just opioids but also benzodiazepines, sedatives, and stimulants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, in 2020, opioid drug abuse incurred an annual cost of approximately $78.5 billion for United States taxpayers.

drug and alcohol dependence statistics for substance abuse and older adults in america

At American Addiction Centers, we are constantly researching drug-related issues to find trends that can help us stay informed when we’re helping people overcome their drug addictions. To answer the question above, we used the Omni Calculator Addiction Calculator to explore the impact on life expectancy for drug users based on the daily and weekly use of specific drugs. We visualized these changes in life expectancy drug users can expect to see from continued use of various substances in charts, which you can see below. The study includes the potential life lost from abusing cocaine, heroin, meth, and methadone pills. It’s important to note that when discussing methadone abuse we’re referring to taking methadone multiple times per day with a clear intent to get high. Methadone as prescribed by a doctor (typically no more than once per day) is considered a safe and effective way to help treat opioid addiction by controlling craving and withdrawal symptoms.

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