May 31, 2020

Addiction & Recovery: The Stats

No two addicts are the same.

Some people struggling with an addiction will abuse substances, such as alcohol or drugs. Others can be dependent on those substances, which is ultimately more serious but not less important to get a handle on. Those who are dependent on substances may experience physical withdrawal symptoms and an inability to fulfill day-to-day responsibilities. Depending on the type of addiction you’re dealing with, treatment and management strategies vary.

If you need to research addiction treatment centers, or are interested in learning more, check out Renew’s Treatment Finder Guide.

Substance addiction is a growing issue in the United States that impacts millions of people and their families. Get the facts here.

  • Twenty-five million Americans age 12 or older suffer from alcohol and drug addiction.
  • More than 15 million of those are dependent on alcohol, roughly 10 million are dependent on drugs, the rest are dependent on both.
  • In 2013, nearly 2.5 million Americans were admitted to drug and alcohol treatment facilities.
  • Preliminary data for 2009 from the CDC show the highest percentage in a decade measured for adults who have consumed more than 5 drinks a day (23 percent).
  • Individuals treated for alcohol misuse are approximately 10 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not misuse alcohol, and people who abuse drugs have about 14 times greater the risk for eventual suicide.


  • In 2013, 9.4 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 were current illicit drug users.
  • More than 14.5 percent of U.S. kids ages 12 – 17 drink alcohol.
  • Children of alcoholics are four times as likely to develop problems with alcohol.
  • Nearly 17 percent of all children under age 14 in the U.S., and 20 percent of children under 18 live with a parent (or legally responsible adult) who drinks heavily or has an alcohol problem.
  • Children who learn about the risk of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who are not taught about the dangers.
  • Mental health intervention initiatives, including school-based programs that target cognitive, problem-solving, and social skills of children and adolescents, have been found to reduce depressive symptom levels by 50 percent or more, one year after the intervention.
  • Only a third of parents discuss the risks of abusing prescription medicines with their kids.
  • Marijuana use has increased since 2007. In 2013, there were 19.8 million current users—about 7.5 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.5 million (5.8 percent) in 2007

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)

National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

There is Hope in Recovery

  • In any given day, over 700,000 Americans seek treatment for alcohol or drug addiction.
  • At least one-third of alcoholics fully recover.
  • Using prescription drugs to combat alcohol dependency, in combination with treatment, boost the recovery success rate to 50 percent.
  • There are an estimated 1.25 million Alcoholics Anonymous members in the U.S.
  • There are more than 25,000 Narcotics Anonymous groups in the world.
  • A majority of Americans (80 percent) have positive feelings about prevention and recovery from substance use disorders.