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Drug Abuse Statistics that May Shock you

Key Findings

  • 50.0% (Half) of all people 12 and older have used illicit drugs at least once.

  • 700K Drug overdose deaths in the US since 2000 are nearing one (1) million.

  • $35B The federal budget for drug control in 2020 was $35 billion.

Substance Abuse Statistics

  • Among Americans aged 12 years and older, 37.309 million were current illegal drug users (used within the last 30 days) as of 2020

  • .13.5% of Americans 12 and over used drugs in the last month, a 3.8% increase year-over-year (YoY).

  • 59.277 million or 21.4% of people 12 and over have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year. 138.543 million or 50.0% of people aged 12 and over have illicitly used drugs in their lifetime.

  • Usership among people aged 12 and over is down 0.4% YoY

  • 522 million Americans 12 and over drink alcohol.28.320 million or 20.4% of them have an alcohol use disorder.

  • 277 million people use tobacco or nicotine products (vape).

  • 25.4% of illegal drug users have a drug disorder.24.7% of those with drug disorders have an opioid disorder; this includes prescription pain relievers or “pain killers” and heroin).

Drug Abuse Demographics

  • Drug abuse and substance disorders are more likely to affect young males

  • 22% of males and 17% of females used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year.

  • 5% of people in non-metropolitan, rural counties used illegal drugs compared to 20.2% of people in larger metropolitan counties.

  • Drug use is highest among persons between the ages of 18-25 at 39% compared to persons aged 26-29, at 34%.

  • 70% of users who try an illegal drug before age 13 develop a substance abuse disorder within the next 7 years compared to 27% of those who try an illegal drug after age 17.

  • 47% of young people use an illegal drug by the time they graduate from high school;

  • other users within the last 30 days include:

  • 5% of 8th graders.

  • 20% of 10th graders.

  • 24% of 12th graders.

According to the CDC:

  • In 2020, an average of 44 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids, totaling more than 16,000 deaths.

  • Prescription opioids were involved in nearly 24% of all opioid overdose deaths in 2020, a 16% increase in prescription opioid-involved deaths from 2019 to 2020.