Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionists

Facts and Statistics About Addiction

  • In 1956 the American Medical Association classified alcohol abuse as an illness, 10 years later in 1966, alcohol abuse was classified as a disease. In 1974 the American Medical Association classified drug abuse as a disease.
  • The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that over 80% of those incarcerated in adult & juvenile penal institutions were there directly or indirectly as a result of the disease of addiction.
  • Drug overdose is the number 1 killer of offenders released from prison. Cocaine is the most common drug involved in the overdose.
  • The United States accounts for only 5% of the world’s population. However, two-thirds of illegal drugs are consumed in America.
  • Twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners are incarerated in America, and again Americans only account for 5% of the world’s population.
  • Between 1995 and 2005 treatment admissions for dependence on prescription painkillers grew more than 300%.
  • More than 29% of the teens in treatment are dependent on some form of prescription medication, some of which include tranquilizers, sedatives, & opiates.
  • Approximately 14 million Americans, 7.4% of the population, meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
  • More than half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcoholism.
  • In the United States approximately 1 in 4 children younger than 18 years old is exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in the family.
  • Parents’ drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes and child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the wellbeing and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation.
  • Children with an addicted parent or parents are at a significantly greater risk for mental illness or emotional problems, such as depression and/or anxiety. There is also greater risk for children to have physical health problems and learning disabilities including difficulty with cognitive and verbal skills, conceptual reasoning and abstract thinking.
  • Children of addicts or alcoholics are almost 3 times likely to be verbally, physically, or sexually abused; and 4 times more likely than other children to be neglected.
  • Adults who abuse drugs often have problems thinking clearly, remembering, and paying attention. They often develop poor social behaviors as a result of their drug abuse, and their work performance and personal relationships suffer.
  • In the United States alone more than 100,000 deaths each year are attributed to alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Among the Nation’s alcoholics and problem drinkers as many as 4.5 million are adolescents and adolescents are disproportionately involved in alcohol-related automobile accidents; the leading cause of death among young Americans 15 to 24 years old.
  • 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use.
  • More than 75% of domestic violence victims report that their assailant had been drinking or using illicit drugs at the time of the incident.
  • Adolescents who abuse drugs often act out, do poorly academically, and drop out of school. They are at risk of unplanned pregnancies, violence, and infectious diseases.