A Quick Review of Addiction and Substance Abuse Statistics and Facts

Addiction destroys lives and can tear families apart. If a loved one is suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, understand that they are not alone. Millions of people across the world struggle with substance abuse. Fortunately, Stout Street offers affordable substance abuse treatment and can help you get your life back on track.

For now, let’s take a quick look at substance abuse facts and statistics so that you can develop a better understanding of how grave a threat addiction is in Colorado and elsewhere too.

Substance Abuse Deaths Have Been Rising and Now Top 70,000 per year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 70,000 people died due to substance abuse in 2020 alone. To put that into perspective, roughly 58,000 Americans died during the Vietnam War, which lasted for over a decade.

Since the turn of the century, substance abuse deaths have greatly increased. In the year 2000, less than 20,000 people died from substance abuse. From 1999 to 2019, roughly 841,000 people succumbed to addiction, which is nearly triple the number of Americans killed in World War II.

Opioids Are Now The Leading Cause of Death Due to Addiction

In 2019, opioids were involved in 70.6 percent of all substance abuse deaths. The Centers for Disease Control found that opioids were involved in 49,86o opioid deaths.

Synthetic opioids were the biggest drivers of overdose deaths in 2019. Roughly 73 percent of opioid overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is believed to be the most common cause of synthetic opioid overdose deaths.

From 2013 to 2019, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased 11-fold. The Centers for Disease Control reports that most of the fentanyl involved in overdose deaths was illicitly manufactured, rather than legally manufactured for pharmaceutical purposes.

Fentanyl analogs, including acetylfentanyl, carfentanil, and furanylfentanyl may also be involved in many deaths. However, to distinguish between fentanyl and the various analogs, specialized toxicology testing is required.

Carfentanil is roughly 10,000 times as potent as morphine and is among the most potent types of opioids.

The American West is Seeing a Rapid Rise in Overdose Deaths and Drug Use

Opioid abuse in the American West is growing rapidly with street Fentanyl deaths rising dramatically. Synthetic opioids are increasingly replacing heroin as the drug of choice for many addicted individuals. Synthetic opioids may be more dangerous and addictive than heroin.

In Colorado, fatal drug overdoses surged 59 percent in 2020 with at least 1,313 people dying from drug overdoses. This marks a dramatic increase from the 824 deaths that occurred in 2019. Many more people were hospitalized due to drug overdoses. Medical providers in Colorado wrote 45.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons in 2018.

The COVID-19 Pandemic May Have Driven Substance Abuse and Alcohol Addiction

Research has found that many people turned to drugs and alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic to cope with stress and anxiety. The CDC reports that 13 percent of Americans started or increased abusing substances during the pandemic.

Demand for psychologists and other services to cope with substance abuse also increased throughout the pandemic.

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, remember that you don’t need to confront this problem alone. By working with substance abuse counselors and mental health professionals, you may be able to overcome addiction.