Facts about Addiction
- For one in 13 American adults, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence (alcoholism) causes substantial harm to their health and disruption in their lives.
- There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than from any other cause.
- About 18 million Americans have alcohol problems; about 5 to 6 million Americans have drug problems.
- More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
- More than nine million children live with a parent dependent on alcohol and/or illicit drugs.
- One-quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.
- Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
- Almost half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.
- Between 48% and 64% of people who die in fires have blood alcohol levels indicating intoxication.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation.
- Alcohol and drug abuse costs the American economy an estimated $276 billion per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures, crime, motor vehicle crashes and other conditions.
- Untreated addiction is more expensive than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined.
- Every American adult pays nearly $1,000 per year for the damages of addiction.
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