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There are a wide variety of sources of information for drug addiction statistics. Some are government sources, others are research oriented or nonprofits gathering information, some are from businesses that profit from drug addiction, such as pharmaceutical companies, medical supply or addiction treatment related businesses. The most reliable information is from organizations like SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( – or NIDA – National Institute on Drug Abuse or The National Library of Medicine. These organizations do much of the research and collection of data in the field, although sometimes the information can be several years old.




The facts on drug addiction are staggering and, unfortunately, they’re only getting worse year after year. In fact, drug addiction has been declared an epidemic in the United States. One of the fastest growing categories of addiction is prescribed medications. Here are a few fast facts about drug abuse:

For the first time ever in the US, more people were killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents
In 2009, 37,485 people died from drugs, a rate fueled by overdoses on prescription pain and anxiety medications, versus 36,284 from traffic accidents
Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69
From 2001 to 2013 there was a 2.5-fold increase in the total number of deaths. Prescription Drugs include: anti-depressants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and opioids.

The tremendous growth in drug-related deaths is not the result of illegal street drugs. The most commonly abused prescription drugs (OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma) cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. It’s very clear drug addiction is one of the most serious social problems of this century.




There are many resources for drug addiction help, including government directories of treatment centers and many independent directories on the internet. However, keep in mind that drug addiction treatment is a tremendously profitable business. One that has been little regulated historically and in which there is a wide variety of techniques and beliefs in terms of treatment. In some cases, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars and never actually receive “treatment”. Some so-called addiction treatment centers have programs that are merely the 12 steps of recovery as set out by Alcoholics Anonymous. This is not treatment, it is a social model of support. This once was the only help you could find for an addiction. It was and still is a valuable means of support for maintaining sobriety. But, today, there is far more science involved in addiction treatment. We understand the brain much more and how it is affected by addiction. There are many options in treatment, including neurofeedback, group therapy, equine therapy, pharmacological answers, and much more. There is a lot of information on the internet and you can spend weeks sifting through it, or you can speak to an expert in the field, such as you’ll reach by calling Recovery Channel.