Prevalence Rates of Alcohol, Drug or Behavioral Addictions

Prevalence of Adult Alcohol Problems

  • About 37% drink non-problematically and are low risk for overuse or medical consequences.
  • About 28% drink at heavy or at-risk levels (e.g., amount, frequency, speed of intake).
    • Over 25% engage in binge drinking (e.g., 4-5 drinks or more in 2hrs or less) on a monthly basis.
    • About 7% engage in heavy alcohol use (e.g., binge drinking 5 or more days a month).
  • Overall, about 10% are diagnosed with alcohol abuse/dependence, with 4% are alcohol dependent.
  • Nearly a third of drinkers are “heavy/at risk” drinkers, vulnerable to addiction and/or medical consequences.
  • About 10% of American adults consider themselves to be in recovery from alcohol, opioids, or other drugs.

Prevalence of Adult Drug Addictions

Opioids 5%
Cocaine/Crack 5%
Hallucinogens 2%/month
  10%/year
Cannabis 10% casual use
  3% psychological dependence
Nicotine 15% currently smoke
Other Drugs 2-4%

Prevalence of Adult Compulsive Behavioral Addictions

Compulsive Shopping/Spending 6%
Compulsive Gambling 2%
Compulsive Sex 3%
Compulsive Love 3%
Compulsive Internet 2%
Compulsive/Pathological Lying .1%
Compulsive Video Games 10% of youth gamers (ages 8-18)
Compulsive Work/Workaholic 10%
Compulsive Eating 2%
Compulsive Exercise 3%

Overall prevalence of alcohol, drug, or behavioral addiction

Estimated to be about forty-seven percent (47%) of the adult population.


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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 It is absolutely treatable, so do not let any outdated stigma about addiction issues, mental health issues, or treatment issues get in your way.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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