Frequently Asked Questions

Addiction Is One Of The Most Prevalent Diseases In The United States

In addition to the adverse effects on the patient as an individual, the rising costs of addiction exceed $400 billion annually. In 2005, the most recent year for which the data was calculated, societal costs from alcohol and other drugs were $416 billion: $43.6 billion in health care, $73.8 billion in criminal justice and $299 billion in lost productivity.

Substance Abuse Costs Our Nation More Than $484 Billion Per Year

Substance Abuse ChartCrime

In 2010, 85% of the U.S. prison population committed crimes while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, committed crimes to get money to buy drugs, or were incarcerated for an alcohol or drug law violation. Almost 80% of youths in the juvenile justice system are due to problems related to substance abuse.

Alcohol and other drugs are involved in one-half to three-quarters of all incidences of violence, including child abuse, spousal abuse, homicide and rape – and close to 100% of date rapes.

Mental Illness

At least 60% of those with addiction have comorbid mental illness, and 20% of the mentally ill suffer from addiction.

Individuals with a substance use disorder are almost six times more likely to attempt suicide.

Prevelant Diseases ChartComorbidity

Infants exposed to drugs in the womb can suffer from developmental deficiencies in areas such as behavior, attention, and cognition.

Injection drug use contributes to the spread of infectious diseases, and all drugs of abuse increase the likelihood of risky sexual behaviors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Sources: Rice, 1999; ONDCP, 2001; Harwood, 2000, CDC, 2011; NIDA 2011

*This includes health care expenditures, lost earnings, and costs associated with crime and accidents. This is an enormous burden that affects all of society – those who abuse these substances, and those who don’t.