Illegal Drug Use Statistics and Facts You Should Know

Illicit and illegal drug use in the United States has been a problem for many years. Not only do adults use and abuse drugs, but many adolescents and young adults do, too. Illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD and others are especially dangerous because they may contain chemicals or toxins that, when mixed with other substances, can result in deadly consequences.

For example, ecstasy is often mixed with a variety of substances such as LSD, cocaine, amphetamine, meth, heroin, rat poison, caffeine, dog deworming substances and more. It’s use is illegal, highly addictive and incredibly dangerous.

However, surveys have found that illicit drug use is not increasing, it is actually remaining steady throughout the world. There is still progress to be made, though – many organizations and individuals are working hard to ensure drug use declines, rather than remains steady.

Take a look at more illegal drug use statistics and facts you should know:

  • 57.9% of young adults ages 18 to 25 participated in illegal drug use at some point in their life.
    Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • 17% of adults ages 26 and older have used cocaine at some point in their life.
    Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • In 2012, about 243 million people globally between the ages of 15 to 64 had used an illicit drug at least once in the previous year.
  • From 2000 through 2013, the age-adjusted rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin nearly quadrupled from 0.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2013. Most of the increase occurred after 2010.
    Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • The number of Americans who use heroin has remained somewhat steady since 2009 – there were much higher levels of heroin use among Americans between the years 2002 and 2008 compared to now.
    Source: Talbott Recovery
  • After rising for several years, the annual prevalence of marijuana has more or less leveled out since about 2010.
  • By December 2014, a total of 541 new psychoactive substances with negative health effects were reported by 95 countries and territories – a 20% increase compared to 2013 data.
    Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Drugs account for 90% of poisoning deaths, and the number of deaths from drug poisoning has increased substantially in recent years.
    Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • Heroin use rose by 75% between 2007 and 2011.
    Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, via Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence
  • 1 in 10 individuals aged 12 or older in the United States have participated in illegal drug use in the past month
  • Some 27 million people are problem drug users, almost half of whom are people who inject drugs.
    Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The illegal drug use statistics above demonstrate that drug use is not declining – and for some types, it’s actually growing. The effects of these trends on the world are evident. If you or someone you love abuses drugs, learn more about Talbott Recovery’s drug abuse treatment program today. Call 678-251-3189 now.

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