Prevalence of Alcohol, Drug and Behavioral Addictions

Most broadly, about 10% of adults have a diagnosable alcohol disorder, with 4% of these being dependent on alcohol. And nearly a third of drinkers are heavy and “at risk” drinkers, vulnerable to addiction and medical consequences. Opiate addiction is on the rise, and 5% of adults now have a diagnosable opiate disorder. About 15% of adults have nicotine addiction. Most other drug use is at the 2-4% level. Additionally, about 2-3% of adults have one or more behavioral addictions (e.g. sex addiction, shopping addiction).

Overall, a very thorough review of prevalence research suggests that up to 47% of the adult population has an alcohol, drug or behavioral addiction in a given year. More specific prevalent rates of alcohol, drug and behavioral problems are found here.


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Addiction has devastating effects on the health and quality of one’s life, and tremendous impacts on societal health. It is absolutely treatable, so do not let any outdated stigma about addiction issues, mental health issues, or treatment issues get in your way. Treatment works, so don’t delay in obtaining substance abuse counselor services. Begin to build your path to your healthiest self today!

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