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2022 National Drug & Alcohol Addiction Statistics

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

December 8, 2023

Table of Contents

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) produces an annual report in the form of NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health.) Last week saw the publication of NSDUH 2022, the most comprehensive summary of substance abuse and treatment in the United States.

Alcohol and drug use statistics have been sharply rising since 2020, when the pandemic and its after-effects created stress for many people across the United States. Read on for a glimpse at the most salient U.S. drug use statistics 2022.

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2022 NSDUH Addiction Statistics

Here is a breakdown of alcohol and drug abuse in 2022, alongside statistics on addiction stemming from substance abuse:

  • Alcohol addiction statistics: 221 million U.S. over-12s used alcohol in 2022. Among these, 29.5 million developed a diagnosable alcohol use disorder.
  • Marijuana addiction statistics: 61.9 million U.S. over-12s used marijuana in 2022. Among these, 19 million developed a diagnosable marijuana use disorder.
  • Cocaine addiction statistics: 5.3 million U.S. over-12s used cocaine in 2022. Among these, 1.4 million developed a diagnosable stimulant use disorder.
  • Heroin addiction statistics: Over 1 million U.S. over-12s used heroin in 2022. Among these, 900,000 developed a diagnosable opioid use disorder.
  • Hallucinogens addiction statistics: 8.5 million U.S. over-12s used hallucinogens in 2022. Among these, 592,000 developed a diagnosable hallucinogen use disorder.
  • Inhalants addiction statistics: 2.3 million U.S. over-12s used inhalants in 2022. Among these, 332,000 developed a diagnosable inhalant use disorder.
  • Meth addiction statistics: 2.7 million U.S. over-12s used meth in 2022. Among these, 1.8 million developed a diagnosable stimulant use disorder.
  • Prescription opioid addiction statistics: 14.2 million U.S. over-12s misused prescription opioids in 2022.

Aside from a very minor decrease in the number of people reported past-year use of heroin and crack cocaine, more people than ever are using all other types of addictive drugs.

Statistics on teen drug use indicate that overall use of illicit drugs is in slight decline, although the use of marijuana has increased – from 6.1% of 12 to 17-year-olds in 2021 to 6.4 of the same demographic in 2022. More positive teen drug use statistics are a decrease in 12 to 17-year-olds reporting diagnosable drug addictions. There is also a significant reduction in the number of teens who meet the criteria for alcoholism (alcohol use disorder).

Next year, we should be able to view drug use statistics by state. Currently, it’s only possible to get a broad overview of addiction by region.

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Addiction Statistics Highlights

Although addiction rates in the United States are at an all-time high, the sharp year-on-year spikes since the pandemic have finally softened. That said, the data is still sobering:

  • Almost 47 million U.S. adults reported past-month use of illicit drugs. Among these, over 27 million developed a diagnosable drug addiction.
  • The total number of U.S. over-12s with diagnosable addictions was 48.7 million. This included 29.5 million individuals with an alcohol use disorder, 27.2 million with a substance use disorder, and 8.0 million with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
  • Alcohol was the most used substance, with over 137 million people reporting past-month use.
  • Marijuana emerged as the most abused illicit drug. 22% (61.9 million people) of over-12s reporting using the drug in the previous year.
  • Just 7.2 million over-12s engaged with treatment for substance use disorder in 2022.

We now need to come together as a nation to help the 40 million teens and adults who need addiction treatment but are unable or unwilling to go to rehab. Among those who require addiction treatment, 1.1 million said that they didn’t know how to achieve this. Only 600,000 failed to engage with addiction treatment because they did not think it would help them. 

If you or a loved one has a problem with substance abuse, inpatient or outpatient treatment will maximize the chance of initiating and maintaining long-term recovery. Dial 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance.

FAQs

How many people are addicted to alcohol in the US?

29.5 million U.S. adults reported an alcohol addiction in 2022, a slight decrease on 29.7 million in 2020.

What is the prevalence of substance abuse in the US?

70 million U.S. adults abused illicit drugs in 2022, with 40 million reporting past-month abuse. Marijuana is the most abused drug.

Are addiction statistics rising or falling?

From 2019 to 2022, alcohol and drug use statistics have been consistently rising. While alcohol use statistics show that more people than ever are drinking, the number of individuals with alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) is starting to decline. That said, rates of alcoholism are still at an all-time high, and rates of drug addiction continue to rise.

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Get Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

Addiction does not discriminate and impacts all demographics. If you or someone that you care about needs help recalibrating your life after a period of substance abuse, consider Renaissance Recovery Center in Huntington Beach, CA.

We treat all types of addiction and mental health conditions in an outpatient setting at our luxury beachside facility. This allows you to connect with the care you need without neglecting your personal or professional commitments. We also offer more intensive outpatient programs for those who require a more structured and immersive recovery experience. We can also connect you with detox centers throughout the state of California if you require assistance with drug or alcohol withdrawal.

All treatment programs at Renaissance offer personalized treatment that may include:

When you are ready to live unconstrained by addiction, call 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance.

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