How Big is the Problem?

  • Over 24.6 million Americans use illicit drugs or abuse prescription medications each month. (NIDA)
  • Since 2000, half a million lives have been lost to opiod drug overdoses. (CNN)
  • The rate of marijuana use among 12th graders in states with medical marijuana laws compared to states without them has increased by 5%. (MTF 2016)
  • Heroin-related death rates increased 26 percent from 2013–2014, totaling 10,574 deaths in 2014. (CDC)
  • Adolescents consume 90% of their alcohol via binge drinking —
    • 5.3 million teens surveyed said they had five or more drinks within a few hours at least once in the month,
    • 1.3 million surveyed said they had five or more drinks within a few hours more than five times in the past month. (MTF 2016)
  • 614,000 teens aged 12–17 have admitted to using Adderal, a popular amphetamine prescribed for ADD/ADHD  for non-medical recreational reasons at some point.
  • Abuse of the drug leads to almost 1,500 emergency room visits every year, and serious side effects can include insomnia and stroke.
    • Nearly 1,600 deaths are in motor vehicle crashes
    • Nearly 1,300 deaths are homicides
    • Nearly 250 deaths are from alcohol poisoning, falls, burns and drowning
    • Nearly 500 deaths are from suicide
  • Opiods are involved in 61% of all drug overdose deaths. (CNN)
  • The biggest increase in deaths was from synthetic opioids, which went up 80%. (CNN)
  • Last year, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses — 1.5 times greater than the number killed in car crashes. (CNN)
  • Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 2.8 million new users of illicit drugs in 2013, or about 7,800 new users per day. Over half (54.1 percent) were under 18 years of age. (NIDA)
  • More than half of new illicit drug users begin with marijuana. (NIDA)

Drug Addiction

The statistics above tell the story of the drug epidemic that is sweeping our country. No community, family, socioeconomic class is untouched. Drug abuse cuts a reckless path of destruction through the lives of individuals and their families. It distracts from education and spoils opportunities for the future. It devastates family relationships and robs the substance abuser of the ability to reach their God-given potential in life. Alcohol and drug abuse causes more damage than any other single problem in America today. It is an enormous issue, but there is hope.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in America, by both adults and teens. By 8th grade, 25% of students have been drunk, and by 12th grade, that number climbs to 62%.  Because teens drink and drive, car accidents are the number one cause of death for 15-20 year olds. Among college students under age 21, there are 50,000 alcohol related date rapes, and 430,000 assaults by students who have been drinking. More than 7 million children are abused or neglected because they live in a home where at least one parent is an alcohol abuser.   Alcohol poisoning claims the life of 6 Americans every day (Boston Globe).

For more information on alcohol abuse, visit these sites:

Alcohol and Drug Education

Teen Challenge and Boom provide an outreach program to middle and high schools students in both public and private schools as well as youth organizations and church groups regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol use called End Addiction.  For more information or to schedule an End Addiction presentation, contact Bloom at 774-300-8070.

Throughout New England and New Jersey, Teen Challenge is also the largest distributor of government-provided alcohol and drug information through its Drug Awareness Teams.

References for other drug information and statistics are provided at these sites: