Add To Favorites

Facts and Statistics About Drug and Alcohol Abuse

By: American Psychological Association

Facts and figures

* It is estimated that the total economic cost of alcohol and drug abuse is more than $240 billion annually. About $97 billion is due to drug abuse. This estimate includes abuse treatment, prevention costs, health care, costs due to reduced job productivity or lost earnings, crime and social welfare.
The Lewin Group, a health policy research and management consulting firm.

* In the 1960s, 7 percent of new female drinkers were ages 10 to 14. Today the figure is at 31 percent.
National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

* Ten to 30 million children worldwide are orphaned and must support themselves by working, begging, stealing, selling sex and trafficking illicit substances. Estimates say that up to 90 percent of these street children use substances of one kind or another. The initial use of a substance among street children is known to be as early as age 5.
World Health Organization's Program on Substance Abuse, funded by the United Nations Drug Control Program.

* Inhalant use is most prevalent among young children and usually entails inhaling or huffing household items such as shoe polish or paint thinner. More than 1,000 products widely available in households can be used as inhalants.
National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, Austin, Texas.

* There is a direct connection to the use of methamphetamine and the American work ethic. As many as 9.4 million Americans have used the drug at least once. Many users are workers, high school students and truck drivers.
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

* In 1999, 14.8 million Americans used illicit drugs. About 3.5 million are dependent on illicit drugs and 8.2 million people are dependent on alcohol.
Community Epidemiology Work Group, a service of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

* Every day, 3,000 kids become regular smokers, and a third of them will eventually die of tobacco-related causes. Meanwhile, two out of three 12- to 17-year-olds who smoked cigarettes in the last year show signs of addiction.
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

* Drug abuse treatment centers, law enforcement personnel and pharmacists have recently reported a sudden increase in the abuse of the pain medication oxycodone in Maine, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Maryland. The estimated number of emergency department episodes involving oxycodone was stable from 1990 through 1996. Emergency episodes doubled from 3,190 episodes in 1996 to 6,429 in 1999.
U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration.

* A survey of American teens, released in February, found that one in four said they had a friend or classmate who had used Ecstasy, while 17 percent said they knew more than one user.
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.