December 8, 2023

2023 Addiction Statistics: Facts & FAQs

A group of people at the park, discussing addiction statistics and how they are important to understand

Rates of addiction, clinically described as substance use disorder, continue to climb in the United States in 2023.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) publishes data every year on substance abuse and treatment in the United States. This is known as NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). Before the pandemic of 2020, just 8.3 million U.S. adults were addicted to drugs and 14.5 were addicted to alcohol. The most recent data, published in 2023, indicate that:

  • 27.2 million U.S. over-12s reported an addiction to illicit drugs
  • 29.5 million U.S. over-12s reported an addiction to alcohol

Read on to find more drug use statistics and discover how to connect with evidence-based care in California.

2023 US Addiction Facts

The most current addiction statistics for the United States show that:

  • 29.5 million over-12s met the criteria for alcohol use disorder.
  • 19 million over-12s met the criteria for marijuana use disorder.
  • 1.4 million over-12s met the criteria for stimulant use disorder related to cocaine.
  • 900,000 over-12s met the criteria for opioid use disorder related to heroin.
  • 592,000 over-12s met the criteria for hallucinogen use disorders.
  • 332,000 over-12s met the criteria for inhalant use disorder.
  • 1.8 million over-12s met the criteria for related to meth.
  • 6.1 million over-12s met the criteria for opioid use disorder related to prescription opioids.

Drug Use Statistics by State

NSDUH alcohol and drug use statistics by state had not been available since 2019. SAMHSA voiced concerns about combining data from 2019 and 2020 due to a shift from in-person data collection to web-based data collection resulting from the pandemic. It is now possible to view estimates for drug use by state, though.

Fentanyl is by far the most damaging drug used across the United States in 2023. For the past decade, the abuse of this deadly synthetic opioid has been sharply rising, with more than 100,000 people dying each year from fentanyl overdose. 88% of all opioid overdoses now involve fentanyl.

Teenage Drug Use Statistics        

Teen drug statistics for 2023 suggest that overall, the use of illicit drugs is decreasing slightly among this demographic. Marijuana is the outlier, with 6.4% of teens using the drug compared to 6.1% in the previous year. This is partly due to changing laws surrounding marijuana use, and partly triggered by different methods of consuming cannabis, including edibles and marijuana vapes. The latest NSDUH report makes changes to questions to reflect this. You can consult those changes just here.

Statistics on teen drug use also show that fewer young adults meet the criteria for substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders in 2023 than in 2021.

Alcohol addiction statistics and opioid addiction statistics make it apparent that more people than ever are grappling with treatable addictions. How many actually get the help they need, though?

Treatment for Alcohol & Drug Addiction Statistics

The most disturbing disconnect in drug use statistics 2023, as in all previous years, is the gulf between those who need addiction treatment and those who manage to engage with evidence-based therapies. This is especially concerning since substance use disorder is a progressive condition that normally worsens unless treated.

  • Of the 27 million U.S. adults with diagnosable drug addictions, 6.2 million (23%) received treatment.
  • Of the 21.5 million U.S. adults with diagnosable alcohol addictions that do not also involve drugs, 4.3 million (20%) received treatment.
  • 3.4 million individuals engaged with inpatient rehab.
  • 9.9 million individuals engaged with outpatient rehab.
  • 38 million people did not seek addiction treatment and did not think that they needed treatment.
  • Among those who did not seek addiction treatment, a staggering 1.1 million failed to engage because they did not know how to get help.
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment) remains the gold standard for treating alcohol use disorders and opioid use disorders. 1.2 million U.S. adults engaged with MAT for alcohol use disorder, and 2.4 million were prescribed medications to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Most people sought drug addiction treatment for substance abuse involving opioids or marijuana.

If you have been affected by drug addiction or alcohol addiction, we can help you recalibrate your life at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California.

FAQs

How does drug addiction affect the brain?

Addiction to drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol disrupts the reward system of the brain by triggering an abnormal release of dopamine, ultimately leading to structural changes in the brain.

Can drug addiction be treated successfully?

Yes, all drug addictions are treatable. Evidence-based treatments involve a combination of FDA-approved medications (if applicable), behavioral therapies, and counseling.

Are all drugs equally addictive?

No, the addictive potential of drugs varies. This is reflected in the way they are categorized by DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration). Schedule I substances have the highest potential for addiction, while drugs in Schedule IV are considered less addictive.

How does MAT (medication-assisted treatment) work?

MAT blends medications approved by FDA with psychotherapies and counseling to treat opioid addictions and alcohol addictions. Medications can help reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and mitigate cravings for drugs or alcohol. MAT may be used during detox and throughout ongoing addiction treatment.

What is the most effective approach to addressing drug addiction or alcoholism?

Engaging with drug or alcohol rehab will maximize the chance of initiating and maintaining recovery. Inpatient rehab offers an immersive experience for those with severe addictions or co-occurring disorders. Outpatient rehab is a more affordable and flexible option for those committed to recovery.

Get Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

With so many people in the United States meeting the criteria for addiction and so few engaging with treatment, don’t let yourself become another of the statistics of addiction. Instead, reach out to Gratitude Lodge in Long Beach or Newport Beach, CA. and discover how you can initiate whole-body healing, even if you have a severe substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder.

Kickstart your recovery the right way with supervised medical detoxification at one of our treatment centers in Long Beach or Newport Beach, CA. Take advantage of continuous care and FDA-approved medications to reduce the intensity of drug or alcohol withdrawal. having addressed the issue of physical dependence, you can move into one of our ongoing addiction treatment programs in California. Expect to access personalized therapies, such as:

If you are tired of living constrained by addictive substances, call 800-994-2184 to kickstart your long-term recovery.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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Psychotherapy

An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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Inpatient
Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
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Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.