Know the Facts
Substance Use Prevelance
Illicit Drug Use
Past Year Illicit Drug Use among People Aged 12 or Older in 2018
Most common illicit use
Marijuana: 43.5 million (2018)
Any prescription misuse
1 in 43 (6.2 million)
*Pain relievers are most common misused prescription: (3.3 million) (2016 Statistics)
Alcohol Binging or Heavy Use
Past Month Tobacco Use among People Aged 12 or Older in 2018
Young Adult & Adolescent Illicit Drug Use
2 in 5 (13.2 million) young adults (18-25) were past year illicit drug users in 2018
1 in 6 (4.2 million) adolescents (12-17) were past year illicit drug users
Substance Use While Pregnant
U.S. Past Month Substance Use among Pregnant Women (aged 15-44)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Methodological summary and definitions. Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 17-5044, NSDUH Series H-52). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUH-FFR1-2016.htm
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016).Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015.htm
Myths about "Addicts"
Here are some common myths and perceptions of those misusing substances.
"They are lazy"
- THE TRUTH: People with addictions are actually working very hard to cope with their life, just in a way that is not productive
"They are bad people"
- THE TRUTH: They are suffering from a disease that has Biological and Environmental triggers, in addition to some elements of individual choice (just like diabetes or depression)
"They chose to be addicted"
- THE TRUTH: Addiction is a progression, not a single conscious choice. Dependence can happen before someone realizes it and before they fully understand all of the negative consequences
"There is no reason why they should use"
- THE TRUTH: They may have a genetic or mental health-related predisposition toward addiction. They may not know how to cope with stress. They may be desperate to change how they feel. People or things in their environment may be reinforcing their use.
"They are in denial"
- THE TRUTH: Most have thought about quitting, but are just not sure if it's worth it or possible
"They need to hit rock bottom"
- THE TRUTH: They do not need to hit rock bottom if we can help them see negative consequences that are important to them and increase the hope and skills needed to change. People with lower severity addictions (who have not yet "hit bottom") have better treatment outcomes.
"They are hopeless cases"
- THE TRUTH: Change is challenging, but POSSIBLE for ANYONE. For most people, it takes multiple quit attempts or treatment episodes to stop using substances. Relapse is common, but risk for relapse decreases the longer a person is quit