In the United States, alcohol and marijuana continue to dominate the charts as the nation’s most commonly abused substances. 87 percent of people who reported any use of alcohol in the previous month also reported using marijuana.
Although overall illicit drug and alcohol use over a lifetime didn’t grow significantly from 2015 to 2016, more people over the age of 12 used marijuana in 2015 than in any other year between 2002 and 2013.
Illicit drug and alcohol use in the United States continues to increase. Almost 500 more people used illicit drugs in the previous month of the survey in 2016 than in 2015.
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While most people drink no more than two drinks daily, 24 million adults drink slightly more than 10 every day on average. That’s 80 percent of alcoholic drinks consumed by just 10 percent of American drinkers.
Drinking continues to rise in the United States, with women, older adults and minorities experiencing the most significant increase in all social groups.
As excessive drinking is responsible for the death of 1 in 10 Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 years and more than 4,700 adolescent deaths every year, addiction treatment is not only critical but it could save lives.
Read more about alcohol addiction in America.
Regular cocaine use can develop an addiction and create other serious health concerns. Experts at the Drug Enforcement Agency have acknowledged a potential influx of cocaine from Columbia as recent inspections indicate increased coca planting.
Cocaine analyzed in the United States is frequently found to have a mix of fentanyl—a potent opioid toxic to humans in small quantities, which increases the risk of death.
About 130,000 more Americans used cocaine for the first time in 2016 than in 2015, with 10,000 abusers experiencing an overdose that resulted in death, a number that is almost twice as many cocaine overdose deaths than in 2014.
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Crack Cocaine Addiction
Although crack cocaine use peaked in the 80s, it seems to be making a comeback in the United States. Usage over one’s lifetime diminished from 2015 to 2016, but what concerns experts are usage statistics over the past year and the past month, both of which have risen indicating a possible comeback.
While many factors may be contributing to its return, the most noteworthy culprits are the ease of accessibility, falling prices, continual youth unemployment and the cuts in social services.
People under the age of 18 continue to be the most vulnerable demographic in America, as they often carry their addiction into adulthood.
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Crystal Meth Addiction
Experts have voiced concern about a crystal methamphetamine comeback, as well. With most of the attention on the opioid crisis, agents are confiscating 10-20 times more meth at the border than they were just 10 years ago.
The use of meth from dangerous homemade labs with pseudoephedrine —found in decongestant—peaked in the 2000s. When American laws curbed the creation of makeshift labs, it didn’t take long for drug cartels to step in and fill the void.
Almost 900,000 people were addicted to meth in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, and the number continues to climb this year as well.
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In 2015, about 830,000 Americans used heroin, which is more than double the number of users in the previous decade. In 2016, that number had risen to 948,000.
The number of heroin users has consistently risen since 2007 and seems to be most popular among young adults. New users almost doubled between 2006 and 2016.
Heroin addiction was most abundant in urban neighborhoods but has recently expanded into many rural and suburban areas near communities adjacent to Chicago and other big cities.
Heroin addiction treatment statistics have given experts a glimmer of hope, as more people seek help to recover from its adverse effects.
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Prescription Drug Addiction
About 10.3 percent of Americans (23.4 million people) experience chronic pain and 55.7 percent (126 million) struggle with pain sporadically. Doctors use prescription opioids to treat patients with moderate to severe pain.
Painkillers are the subjects of 3.3 million addictions. These highly addictive medications have been the source of a plague of addiction across the country dubbed ‘the opioid epidemic.’
Tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives are also sources of misused prescription medications that often lead to severe addictions, with 7.2 million users in total.
More Americans abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, crystal meth and heroin combined, ranking it the most abused category of drugs.
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