73 Adult Addiction Statistics, Facts & Prevalence

Alcoholism is the most common addiction, with an estimated 14.5 million adults in the US suffering from alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Posted on
August 23, 2023
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Top 10 Adult Addiction Statistics

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.
  • Alcoholism is the most common addiction, with an estimated 14.5 million adults in the US suffering from alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • In 2017, an estimated 2 million adults (aged 12 and older) had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers, and 0.5 million had an opioid use disorder related to heroin.
  • Substance abuse costs the US economy more than $740 billion annually in lost productivity, healthcare expenses, and criminal justice costs.
  • Overdose deaths involving opioids increased from 8,048 in 1999 to 47,600 in 2017, and more than two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved opioids.
  • In 2017, an estimated 9.2 million adults in the US reported both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.
  • Nicotine addiction is the leading cause of preventable death in the US, with an estimated 480,000 deaths annually.
  • An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year in the US.
  • In 2017, an estimated 8.5 million adults had a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder, and only 7.4% received treatment for both conditions.
  • Addiction is a chronic disease, and between 40-60% of people who complete addiction treatment will relapse.

How Many People Are Addicted to Alcohol?

  • Alcohol use disorder is the most common addiction worldwide, with an estimated 283 million people suffering from it in 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • In Europe alone, alcohol-related harm accounts for 5.3% of all deaths and 9.4% of the disease burden.
  • In the US, an estimated 14.5 million adults suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD), which equates to about 5.8% of the population aged 18 and older.
  • Men are more likely than women to suffer from AUD, with an estimated 7.6% of men compared to 4.0% of women having AUD in the US.
  • The prevalence of AUD varies by age group, with young adults aged between 18 and 29 having the highest rates of AUD at approximately 14%, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

How Many People Are Addicted to Tobacco?

  • Tobacco addiction is a major health concern globally, with an estimated 1.3 billion people using tobacco in some form.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking kills more than 8 million people each year and is responsible for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths.
  • In the US, an estimated 34.2 million adults smoke cigarettes, which equates to about 13.7% of the population aged 18 and older.
  • Men are more likely than women to smoke cigarettes in the US, with an estimated 15.6% of men compared to 12.0% of women being current smokers.
  • The prevalence of smoking also varies by age group, with young adults aged between 18 and 24 having the highest rates of smoking at approximately 19%, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Many People Are Addicted To Caffeine?

  • Caffeine addiction is a common and often overlooked issue, with an estimated 90% of adults consuming caffeine in some form daily.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, the average daily caffeine intake among American adults is approximately 200mg, which is equivalent to two cups of coffee.
  • The same study found that approximately 20% of adults consume more than 600mg of caffeine per day, which is considered a high dose and can lead to negative health effects such as anxiety, insomnia, and heart palpitations.
  • In addition, a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association found that coffee is the primary source of caffeine for American adults, with 79% consuming coffee daily.
  • Energy drinks are also a popular source of caffeine for young adults aged between 18 and 34. According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), energy drink consumption among this age group increased from 22.6% in 2006 to 36.1% in 2016.
Gambling - Rutgers Addiction Research Center (RARC)

How Many People Are Addicted To Gambling?

  • Gambling addiction is a growing concern globally. According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, an estimated 3% of the world's population suffers from gambling addiction.
  • In the US, approximately 2 million adults (1% of the population) are estimated to have a gambling disorder, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.
  • Men are more likely than women to develop a gambling addiction, with an estimated 2.4% of men compared to 0.4% of women experiencing gambling disorder in the US.
  • The prevalence of gambling addiction varies by age group, with young adults aged between 18 and 24 having the highest rates of problem gambling at approximately 6%, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

How Many People Are Addicted To Drugs?

  • Substance use disorders are a major global health concern, affecting millions of people worldwide. According to the World Drug Report 2020, an estimated 35 million people suffer from drug use disorders.
  • Opioid use disorder is the most harmful type of drug use disorder and affects an estimated 10.8 million people globally, as stated in the same report.
  • In the US alone, 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
  • Cocaine addiction affects approximately 5 million people worldwide, with North America having the highest prevalence at around 2.2% of adults aged between 15 and 64 years old, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
  • Methamphetamine addiction is prevalent in many countries, with an estimated 27 million people using methamphetamine globally in 2019, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
  • Approximately 4 million people worldwide suffer from cannabis use disorder, according to the World Drug Report 2020.
  • Nicotine addiction is a major public health issue globally, with over 1 billion people using tobacco products, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Around 1.6 million people in the US suffered from prescription stimulant use disorder in 2017, according to NSDUH data.
  • MDMA (ecstasy) addiction affects approximately 24 million people worldwide, with Europe having the highest prevalence at around 1.8% of young adults aged between 15 and 34 years old, according to a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
  • Heroin addiction is a global issue affecting millions of people. In the US alone, an estimated half a million adults had an opioid use disorder related to heroin in 2017, according to NSDUH data.
Past Month Nicotine Vaping rose dramatically over 3 years

How Many People Are Addicted To Inhalant?

  • Inhalant addiction is a lesser-known but still prevalent form of substance abuse. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 0.1 million adults aged 18 or older had a inhalant use disorder in 2017, which is approximately 0.04% of the adult population.
  • Inhalants are often household products that are inhaled to produce a high, such as glue, paint thinner, and gasoline. This type of addiction can cause serious health problems, including brain damage and organ failure.
  • The prevalence of inhalant addiction varies by age group, with young adults aged between 18 and 25 having the highest rates at approximately 0.1%, according to NSDUH data. It is important for individuals struggling with inhalant addiction to seek professional treatment to overcome their addiction and prevent further harm to their health.

Most Common Adult Addiction in the World

  • Alcoholism is the most common addiction worldwide, with an estimated 283 million people suffering from it in 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This equates to approximately 5.1% of the global population aged 15 and older.
  • Tobacco addiction is also a major concern globally, with an estimated 1.3 billion people using tobacco in some form. This equates to approximately 19% of the global population aged 15 and older.
  • In terms of drug addiction, cannabis use disorder is the most prevalent, affecting approximately 22 million people worldwide or about 0.3% of the global population aged 15 and older.
  • Behavioral addictions such as gambling disorder affect an estimated 1-3% of adults globally, according to a study published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry.

Prevalence of Adult Addiction

  • Approximately 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017, which is equivalent to about 8% of the US population.
  • An estimated 283 million people worldwide suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD), which is approximately 5.1% of the global population aged 15 years and older.
  • Tobacco addiction affects an estimated 1.3 billion people globally, which is approximately 18% of the world's population aged 15 years and older.
  • According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, an estimated 3% of the world's population suffers from gambling addiction, with men being more likely than women to develop it.
  • Video game addiction affects an estimated 3% of gamers worldwide, with young adults aged between 18 and 34 having the highest rates.
  • Opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers affects approximately 2 million American adults (aged 12 and older), which is equivalent to about 0.8% of the US population.

Why do People Become Addicted?

  • Genetics: Studies have shown that genetics can play a role in addiction, with an estimated 40-60% of addiction being linked to genetic factors.
  • Trauma: Childhood trauma, such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or sexual violence, can increase the risk of developing an addiction later in life. An estimated 75% of women and men in substance abuse treatment report having experienced abuse or trauma.
  • Mental Illness: People with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD are more likely to develop an addiction. Approximately 9.2 million adults in the US reported both a mental illness and a substance use disorder in 2017.
  • Environment: Environmental factors such as peer pressure, availability of drugs or alcohol, and stressful living conditions can contribute to the development of addiction. In the US alone, substance abuse costs more than $740 billion annually in lost productivity and healthcare expenses.
  • Social Acceptance: The social acceptance of certain substances like alcohol and tobacco can also contribute to addiction. In the US, an estimated 13.7% of adults smoke cigarettes while 79% consume coffee daily.

Countries with the Highest Addiction Rate

  • Russia: With an estimated 30% of the population suffering from alcoholism, Russia has one of the highest addiction rates in the world.
  • Belarus: This Eastern European country has a high prevalence of alcohol and tobacco addiction, with an estimated 20% of the population smoking cigarettes daily.
  • Lithuania: Approximately 10% of the Lithuanian population suffers from alcohol use disorder, which is one of the highest rates in Europe.
  • Canada: Despite having strict drug policies, Canada has a high rate of opioid addiction, with approximately 11 people dying every day due to opioid-related overdoses.
  • United States: In addition to high rates of opioid addiction, the US also has a significant issue with alcohol and tobacco addiction, affecting millions of adults each year.
  • Australia: With a high prevalence of binge drinking and illicit drug use, Australia has one of the highest addiction rates among developed countries.
  • Iran: This Middle Eastern country has a significant issue with opium use and addiction, with an estimated two million people suffering from opium use disorder.
  • South Africa: Substance abuse is a major issue in South Africa, affecting millions of people each year and contributing to high rates of crime and poverty.
  • United Kingdom: Alcohol and drug abuse are significant issues in the UK, with an estimated 1 in 10 adults suffering from some form of substance use disorder.
  • India: With widespread availability and acceptance of tobacco products, India has one of the highest rates of tobacco addiction in the world, affecting millions of people each year.

Addiction Recovery Statistics

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), only 10.8% of people aged 12 or older who needed substance abuse treatment received it in 2017.
  • However, recovery is possible. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that approximately 21.2 million Americans aged 12 or older were in recovery from a substance use disorder in 2019.

Recovered after Rehab

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 21.2 million Americans aged 12 or older were in recovery from a substance use disorder in 2019, which is equivalent to about 7.9% of the US population.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that among those who completed a substance abuse treatment program, approximately 40-60% were able to maintain their sobriety for at least one year.
  • A study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine found that individuals who participate in long-term residential treatment programs have higher rates of success in maintaining their sobriety, with up to 70% remaining abstinent after two years.
  • Recovery rates vary depending on the type of addiction. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that between 40-60% of individuals who receive treatment for opioid addiction are able to maintain their sobriety for at least one year. Similarly, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) reports that between 40-60% of individuals who receive treatment for alcohol addiction are able to maintain their sobriety for at least one year.

FAQs

What is the worst addiction?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the severity of addiction varies depending on the individual and the substance or behavior involved. However, opioid addiction is considered one of the most harmful types of addiction due to its high potential for overdose and death.

What is the difference between addiction and dependence?

Addiction and dependence are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to different things.

Dependence is a physical state in which the body has adapted to the presence of a substance and requires it to function normally. Addiction, on the other hand, is a psychological and behavioral disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences.

Can addiction be cured?

While there is no cure for addiction, it can be effectively treated through a combination of therapy, medication, and support groups. With proper treatment, many people are able to achieve long-term recovery from their addiction.

Is addiction a choice or a disease?

Addiction is widely considered to be a disease of the brain that involves changes in brain structure and function. However, individuals do have some degree of choice when it comes to using drugs or alcohol initially. Once addiction takes hold, however, it becomes much more difficult to stop using without professional help.

How do I know if I have an addiction?

Signs of addiction include strong cravings for drugs or alcohol, difficulty controlling use despite negative consequences such as job loss or relationship problems, withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit, and prioritizing drug use over other activities that were once important.

Can someone be addicted to multiple substances at once?

Yes, it is possible for someone to be addicted to multiple substances at once. This is known as polysubstance abuse and can make treatment more complex due to the potential for dangerous interactions between different drugs.

What should I do if I think I have an addiction?

If you think you have an addiction, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

This may involve seeing a therapist or counselor who specializes in treating addiction or attending support group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Your healthcare provider can also provide referrals to treatment programs in your area.

Conclusion

Addiction is a complex and challenging problem that affects millions of adults worldwide. It has a significant impact on physical and mental health, employment, relationships, finances, and education.

Overcoming addiction requires a personalized and evidence-based approach that addresses the unique needs and challenges of the individual. By understanding the prevalence, impact, and challenges of addiction, we can work towards developing effective strategies to prevent and treat this disease.

References

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/10-most-common-addictions/

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohol-topics/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/addiction-statistics/

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/addiction-statistics

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/10-percent-us-adults-have-drug-use-disorder-some-point-their-lives

https://fherehab.com/addiction-statistics/

https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/college-age-young-adults/vaping-cannabis-trends-among-young-adults-infographic

https://www.addiction.rutgers.edu/about-addiction/facts-and-figures/gambling/

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