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Drug Addiction Facts

The facts listed below relate to drug addiction in many aspects. Everything from crime, drug using population, drug addiction treatment, to the cost of drug addiction on society is listed below in this page on drug addiction facts.

Drug addiction facts:

  • 90% of property crimes and muggings are drug related.
  • The average individual with a drug addiction needs $200.00 per day to support his/her drug addiction.
  • The average individual with a drug addiction has to steal an average of $1,000.00 worth of property and goods to raise the $200.00.
  • The average individual with a drug addiction “self medicates” a physical, emotional, spiritual hurt with drugs he/she has not been able to deal with in a healthy manner.
  • Most prison inmates have a drug addiction.
  • There is a gradual dissemination of the 'harder drugs' heroin and cocaine into younger and younger populations as the stigma of drug use breaks down. The alarming decrease in the cost of hard drugs also means that they now represent better 'value for money' than alcohol.
  • 70% of violent crime is committed by people who are intoxicated with either alcohol or drugs.
  • People who have been drinking are at greater risk of being the victim of violent crime, and are also more likely to be involved in accidents, fires and to engage in self-harm.
  • In one study conducted at the National Addiction Center, 650 individuals with a heroin addiction committed more than 70,000 crimes in a three-month period.
  • It is estimated that in 1997 more than 30 million people in the United States and Europe suffered from chronic alcohol and drug addiction; approximately 22 million individuals with an alcohol addiction, 6 million individuals with a cocaine addiction and almost 2 million individuals with a heroin addiction.
  • There were approximately 250,000 emergency room admissions for cocaine overdose in 1997.
  • In 1997, an estimated 2 million people sought treatment for their drug and alcohol addictions at approximately 1200 drug rehabilitation clinics in the United States and Europe.
  • Currently, an estimated 20 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • Approximately 80% of all crime in the U.S. is related to drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Approximately 135,000 die each year as a consequence of alcohol and drugs, costing about $46 billion dollars each year.
  • Alcoholism is associated with 25% of all hospital admissions.
  • Every dollar spent on treatment leads to a $7.46 reduction in crime related expenses and lost productivity. When health care savings are added in, every $1 invested in treatment for addiction yields a total return of $12 saved.
  • Treatment of all addicts would save more than $150 billion dollars in social costs over the next 15 years.
  • Treatment is 15-17 times more effective than prison. For every crime that incarceration would eliminate, treatment would eliminate 15.
  • More than eight out of ten teenagers and their parents said illegal drugs are a major problem for teenagers nationally.
  • An overwhelming majority of teenagers and their parents agreed that alcohol use is a greater problem than the use of other drugs.
  • Six out of ten teenagers said at least some students at their schools use drugs. Among high school students, the number was to eight out of ten.
  • Four teenagers out of ten reported having friends who use drugs; more than a quarter said someone has tried to sell them illegal drugs.
  • More than 55% of the parents interviewed acknowledged that they had smoked marijuana sometime in their lives, and one out of five admitted using other illegal drugs.