10 Drug Addiction And Alcohol Addiction Facts You Did Not Know Existed

By  //  May 17, 2022

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In the last few years, there has been growing awareness of addiction-related issues. Everyone from medical practitioners to research institutions are uncovering newer facts and figures on how this malaise is pervading our society. 

Addiction is a complex phenomenon. There are hundreds of addictive substances, habits, and behavior patterns that are involved. Every time authorities try to get a grip on one of them, something new and more deadly emerges. 

The thing is that every single time you tend to research issues related to addiction, something new comes up. In this resource, we are going to list down ten drugs and alcohol addiction facts that you probably didn’t know existed. 

Why is Learning About the Facts about Addiction Important?

One of the first things you should know when it comes to addiction is that it is often misunderstood. Yes, it is a controversial subject, and there are tons of misconceptions that people and societies harbor. 

For example, when we think of drug or alcohol addiction, the common picture that comes to our mind is of individuals that look lost, spend time on social security and have a specific type of physical appearance. While some of it might be true, there is more to it than meets the eye. 

For example, according to a report by the CDC, more than 70% of individuals that have a substance abuse disorder hold regular lives. They hold normal jobs, live in families, and do not necessarily belong to the lowest strata of society. 

There exists a lot of stereotypes when we commonly discuss issues around addiction. We tend to ask all the wrong questions- 

 Has someone started using it just because they had nothing else to do with their lives?

Why is it so hard to say no to something that you know is harming you?

How is it so difficult to reach out for help from detox facilities and rehab centers?

On the surface level, these questions are nothing but a superficial assessment of what is really wrong with our systems. This is why understanding the facts and figures makes so much sense. It helps point to the deeper problems that exist in our society around addiction-related issues. 

List of 10 Drug and Alcohol Addiction Facts: What you should know

1. Everyone that uses drugs like meth, heroin, and cocaine does not become an addict-

There is a difference between using drugs and becoming an addict. Someone that uses gets the momentary high and continues leading a normal and functioning life. In an extensive study by researchers at Columbia University, it was found that 85% of individuals that use Meth did not become addicted. The rest, 15%, did, and that was because of their own personal, emotional, psychological, and environmental factors. Yet, repeated consumption often leads to addiction. 

2. Alcohol is the most abused substance and causes the highest deaths- 

You might be wondering that if alcohol is so dangerous, why hasn’t it been outlawed by the authorities. That is because the industry brings in billions of dollars in revenue. In a survey conducted by the NSDUH, 15 million adults in the US are currently suffering from an alcohol use disorder (AUD). That is a staggering 6% of the entire US population. The extent of the problem is so great that nearly 90,000 American citizens lose their lives every year. 

3. Addiction’s annual bill of losses is $740 Billion- 

The NIDA or National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the total bill on addiction is a staggering $740 Billion annually. This amounts to roughly $2 Billion per day. They take into account all addictive substances ranging from tobacco to prescription drugs, street drugs, and alcohol. The agency factors in everything from health care bills to drunk driving, vandalism, and other violence. They took help from the CDC, NDIC, and the Surgeon General’s office.  

4. Once users go to recovery centers and detox clinics, they do not relapse- 

Research and studies have pointed out that people that opt for specialized treatment plans do not relapse. This means that rehab and recovery centers are playing a major role in helping users get a healthy second shot at life. Individuals that were once addicted can go back to leading normal lives, getting jobs, and, more importantly, getting control. You should know that substance abuse disorder treatment by Gallus Detox is one of the best in the country. 

5. Genes and brain chemistry play a part in substance abuse disorders and addiction-

Remember how we said in the first point that while a lot of people consume, only a percentage of the same become addicted. Scientists and medical experts have been able to conclusively point to the role of certain genes that are involved. While there is no specific gene pool that can be blamed, there are various genetic factors, including the interplay of environment, type of upbringing, and societal factors that are involved in addiction. 

6. Mental health is strongly linked to drug and alcohol addiction- 

According to experts, co-occurring disorders should be dealt with seriously when trying to understand SUD. There are many studies that link poor mental health to addiction. In other words, individuals that are suffering from anxiety, depression, panic, bipolar disorders, and personality issues are more likely to start using and becoming addicted. NSDUH concludes that 40% of addiction cases involve users that exhibit mental health problems. 

7. 80% of all prescription drugs made in the world are consumed by the US- 

Imagine this. The United States has just 5% of the world’s total population but consumes 80% of the total prescription drugs that are produced annually in the entire world! The presence of opioids easily has given rise to the epidemic that is sweeping across the country. Dangerous and addictive prescription drugs like Oxycontin are easily available over-the-counter. This is building tolerance to drugs as well as increasing the population’s appetite for painkillers. 

8. Legal prescription drugs kill more people than illegal drugs in the US- 

While the government and enforcement authorities are focusing all their efforts on illegal and outlawed substances, prescription drugs are killing more Americans than ever. The menace of opioids that is currently underway in the country is taking far more lives than cocaine, heroin, or meth addiction. There are strong lobbies that are playing a role in pushing for increased legalization and preventing any attempts to increase regulations in this area. 

9. Addiction knows no boundaries, racial identity, or standard of living- 

We mentioned at the start of the article that there are several misconceptions when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction. The picture that we get is of people living on the streets and using. That is not the case. Studies have found that individuals that consume belong to well-to-do professional backgrounds are highly educated and have stable income sources. Practically none of them live in the streets. This is why the problem is not getting addressed head-on. 

10. Bayer, the pharma company, created heroin, and it was legal back in the day- 

The German pharma giant Bayer created heroin to help people that were suffering from TB and Pneumonia. It was used to provide relief from excessive cough and pain. Over time, individuals started getting addicted to the same, and public opinion regarding the same change. Heroin was created by Bayer in the year 1898. It was and still is one of the most successful medications that was legally sold to people. 

The Final Word

We are sure that you will be surprised after reading these facts on addiction. There is a dearth of positive literature on the subject. The stigma prevents clear and precise documentation in many areas. If you are aware of some other facts on drug and alcohol addiction, please feel free to add them to the comments section.