“Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately 1 in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 – roughly equal to the ENTIRE POPULATION OF TEXAS.”
~ Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, director of the Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap Initiative
One of the common feelings caused by the disease of addiction is an overpowering sense of loneliness. The alcoholic/addict, their friends, and their family all suffer under the mistaken belief that they are alone in their fight.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Drug Addicts and Alcoholics in America Are Definitely Not Alone
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 24 million Americans 12 years or older have used an illicit drug within the past 30 days. That number represents almost 10% of the US population, and what’s more, it indicates an increase of over 8% within the last 10 years.
The figures are even higher when it comes to the use of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that almost 87% of US adults admit to drinking alcohol at some point in their lifetime, while more than half reporting that they have done so within the past month. Over 16 million American adults and almost 700,000 adolescents meet the benchmark for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
In both human and financial terms, the impact of addiction is staggering. EVERY SINGLE YEAR in America:
- Addiction costs American society $484 BILLION.
- This is more than diabetes and cancer COMBINED.
- approximately 570,000 people die because of drug use.
- 440,000 people pass away because of tobacco-related illnesses.
- Alcohol kills 85,000
- 20,000 people die due to illegal drug use.
- Prescription drug abuse kills more than 20,000
- Approximately 100 US citizens die EVERY DAY because of fatal drug overdoses.
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Affects EVERY US Citizen
At the top of this article, there is a quote saying that 1 out of every 10 US citizens over the age of 12 is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Although that may seem like a high number, when you do the math, the results are positively chilling.
According to an article printed in the New York Times, the average American knows around 600 people. This means every person in America knows 60 other people who have a drug or alcohol disorder.
Let that sink in for a moment, and then let’s go further.
You’re a typical American, aren’t you? Think about everyone you know. Are you surprised that YOU PERSONALLY KNOW 60 addicts and alcoholics?
“Wait a minute,” you might say. “Most of those are just acquaintances. That doesn’t REALLY count.”
That same article estimates that most Americans know between 10 and 25 other people well enough to be counted as trusted “real friends”.
That means in your personal circle of friends – people you know, trust, and maybe even love – you might be close to as many as three people who are addicted to illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications.
That is what all of these statistics mean –ANYONE can suffer from the disease of addiction.
The addict or alcoholic in your life can be your husband or wife, one of your children, your brother or sister, your mother or father, someone you work with, or your best friend – ANYONE.
It might even be YOU.
When you feel alienated and alone, it can be difficult to find the strength needed to deal with all of the difficulties caused by the disease of addiction.
But as you can see from all of the statistics – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Others are and have been where you are, and they have been able to regain their sobriety and return to a stable life. Take comfort and draw strength from that knowledge, because with help, you can do the same.
Northpoint Recovery is the premier drug and alcohol rehab program in the Inland Northwest, and proudly serves residents of Idaho, Washington State, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.
Northpoint’s experienced clinical staff understands the challenges you are facing, and they can help you create an individualized Evidence-Based Treatment plan that will allow you to take your first positive steps on your personal journey of recovery.