The stigma associated with addiction is one of the greatest challenges to recovery. Each year only 10 percent of Americans who need alcohol and drug treatment get the help they need. Yet with treatment and support, people with addiction can lead productive lives.

The Addiction Project has benefited from contributions by the leading experts in the field of addiction. Throughout this website you will find original articles written by experts featured in the Addiction series and more.

You may think you have a good idea about addiction already, but these 10 surprising facts about addiction may challenge the beliefs you have about it. Please continue reading to learn more.

1. Drug and/or alcohol addiction is surprisingly common. Approximately 1 out of every 8 Americans is living with some form of addiction. This includes drugs and alcohol. Since this figure only includes known cases of addiction, the true figure may be much higher.

2. Rates of addiction to drugs and alcohol are on the rise. The number of people who are living with some type of addiction has been increasing steadily over the past decade or two. This is hardly surprising, since almost 50 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 have admitted to using drugs and/or alcohol.

3. Approximately 15 percent of children under the age of 18 have admitted to experimenting with illegal drugs . These kinds of activities are on the rise, despite educational programs designed to help kids “Just say no” to drugs.

4. One-quarter of Grade 8 students admit to smoking marijuana regularly , and just over 30 percent of high school students smoke pot. The good news is that overall use of illegal drugs seems to be on the decline, but that doesn’t mean there is not a significant problem with drug addiction.

5. Addiction to prescription drugs is a growing problem among young people . OxyContin and Vicodin are not illegal when prescribed by a physician. They are addictive, and have become increasingly popular among drug users. Using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes is being used at approximately the same rate as marijuana among people between the ages of 12-20.

6. Approximately 70 percent of people who are using illegal drugs are employed . The fact that they have a drug problem means increased costs to the employer in terms of absenteeism, decreased productivity and staff turnover.

7. Ninety percent of muggings and property crimes (theft) are related to drugs . 70 percent of all crimes involving violence were committed by someone under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

8. The average drug addict needs to come up with $200 per day to support his or her addiction . If an addict resorts to stealing to get money for drugs, he or she will need to steal approximately $1,000 worth of property to raise $200.

9. One-quarter of all hospital admissions are related to alcoholism . The total cost to society each year due to alcohol and/or drug addiction is estimated to be $250 billion per year.

The last item on this list of 10 surprising facts about addiction is probably the one that will amaze you the most :

10. Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is a problem for approximately 30 million people in the United States alone . Addictions to these substances and the mental health issues that go along with them are one of the most serious health problems that are affecting modern society today.



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