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Addiction Statistics and Facts

  • Over 20 million Americans – at least 6.5% - over the age of 12 have an addiction (excluding tobacco).
  • 100 people die every day from drug overdoses. This rate has tripled in the past 20 years.
  • Over 5 million emergency room visits in 2011 – about 4% – were drug related
  • Rates of illicit drug use is highest among those aged 18 to 25.
  • Over 90% of those with an addiction began drinking, smoking or using illicit drugs before the age of 18.

Facts Specific to Alcohol

  • Binge drinking is more common in men; 9.1% of men 12 and older reported heavy drinking 5 or more days in a month, while 2.6% of women reported this.
  • It is estimated that over 95% of those who need treatment for alcoholism do not feel they need treatment.
  • More people receive treatment for alcohol than any other substance.

Facts Specific to Marijuana

  • The majority of youths aged 12 to 17 do not perceive a great risk from smoking marijuana.
  • Marijuana had the highest rates of dependence out of all illicit substances in 2011.
  • Marijuana is physically addictive, however THC is stored in fat and the body naturally detoxes gradually to prevent physical withdrawal

Facts Specific to Adderall

A study found that full-time college students, between the ages of 18 and 22, were twice as likely to abuse Adderall than those of the same age not in college (6.4 percent versus 3.0 percent).
These individuals using Adderall non-medically in college were also:

  • Three times as more likely to have used marijuana in the past year (79.9 percent versus 27.2 percent)
  • Eight times more likely to have used cocaine (28.9 percent versus 3.6 percent)
  • Eight times more likely to have used tranquilizers non-medically (24.5 percent versus 3 percent)
  • Five times more likely to have used painkillers non-medically (44.7 percent versus 8.7 percent)
  • Ninety percent of those using Adderall non-medically were reported binge drinkers and more than 50 percent were reported to be heavy drinkers

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