Substance Use Disorder Demographics

Addiction is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. This chronic, yet treatable medical condition impacts individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, or occupation.

However, within these demographic groups, it is possible to discover patterns of substance use that teach us more about the disease of addiction and overall health of our nation.

While addiction can happen to anyone, the article will discuss the unique ways substance abuse affects society across a variety of demographic groups.

Addiction Statistics for Different Demographics

diverse group of people in a circle showing their handsStatistics from the 2018 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, a nationwide report that tracks substance abuse and treatment across many demographic groups in America, help provide a current picture of addiction in the U.S. In 2018:5

  • More than 20 million Americans age 12 or older suffered from a substance use disorder.
  • An estimated 1 in 5 Americans had engaged in illicit drug use in the past year. Marijuana and opioid painkillers were the most common drugs that were used illicitly that year.

More data from specific demographic groups is provided below. You can also find more detailed information on our Addiction Among Different Races page.

Addiction Among Women

The following provides more information about addiction among American women:6

  • In 2018, more than 32 million American women suffered from a mental disorder and/or substance use disorder.
  • Nearly 9% of young adult women in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25 had an alcohol use disorder in 2018.
  • Nearly 10% of pregnant women drank alcohol in 2018.
  • Marijuana use disorder rates increased in young adult women from 2015 to 2018 (from 3.4% to 4.4%).

Learn more about addiction among women.

Addiction Among Men

The following takes a closer look at addiction among American men:7,8

  • Men are more likely than women to use marijuana and misuse prescription drugs.
  • Illicit drug use is more likely to result in an overdose death for men than for women.
  • Nearly 25% adult American men report binge drinking about 5 times per month.
  • Men show consistently higher rates of alcohol-related hospitalizations and deaths.
  • Men are more likely than women to use alcohol before committing suicide.

Learn more about addiction among men.

Addiction Among Adolescents and Young Adults

The following shows a glimpse of how addiction affects adolescents and young adults:5

  • More than 2 million adolescents used alcohol, and 1.2 million binge drank.
  • Young adults had the highest rates of illicit drug use disorder, with 7.6% of those between 18 and 25 years old meeting the criteria for an illicit drug use disorder in 2018.

Addiction Among the LGBTQ+ Community

The following statistics examine addiction in the LGBTQ+ community:9,10

  • 2 in 5 LGBTQ+ adults 18 years old or older suffered from a serious mental illness in 2018.
  • 5 million LGBTQ+ adults suffered from both a substance use disorder and a mental illness in 2018.
  • 2% of LGBTQ+ adults over age 25 had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2018, while 12.4% of young LGBTQ+ adults had an AUD that year.
  • Marijuana was the most used drug in 2018 in the LGBTQ+ community, with nearly 5 million individuals using in the past year.
  • Rates of painkiller misuse exceeded the national average for both young adults and adults over 25 years old in the LGBTQ+ community in 2018.
  • Methamphetamine use among LGBTQ+ adults over 25 years old jumped from 1.5% in 2017 to 2.9% in 2018, compared to 0.7% in the overall U.S. population.
  • In a 2015 report, the rate of past-month illicit drug use, marijuana use, or non-medical prescription opioid use among transgender individuals was nearly 3 times that of the general population, at close to 30%.

Addiction Among Black Americans 11

The following provides more information about addiction among black Americans:11

  • Marijuana was the most commonly used drug among African Americans.
  • African American young adults between 18 and 25 suffered from alcohol use disorder at much lower rates than the overall U.S. young adult population (5.6% compared to 10.1%).
  • 2 million African Americans struggled with opioid misuse in 2018.

Learn more about addiction among black Americans.

Addiction Among Asian Americans/Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders

The following takes a closer look at addiction among Asian Americans/Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI):12

  • There was a significant increase in marijuana use among Asian Americans/NHOPI adults age 26 and older from 2017 to 2018, with past month users rising from 3.1% to 4.8% and daily users rising from 0.3% to 1.1%.
  • The numbers of young Asian American/NHOPI adults between 18 and 25 who misused prescription stimulants jumped by 56,000 from 2017 to 2018.
  • There was a significant rise in alcohol use disorders in young Asian American/NHOPI adults between 2017 and 2018, from 6.6% to 9.9%.

Addiction Among Native Americans

The following shows a glimpse of how addiction affects Native Americans:13

  • More than 22% of American Indians/Alaska Natives age 18 and older had a mental illness in 2018.
  • Nearly 11% of American Indians/Alaska Natives age 18 and older had a substance use disorder.
  • Rates of alcohol use disorder in American Indian/Alaskan Native adults over 25 exceeded the national average (7.2% vs. 5.1%) in 2018.
  • Marijuana was the most used drug in this population in 2018, with 23% of those 12 and older using it in the previous year.
  • Close to 10% of young adults between 18 and 25 in this group suffered from marijuana use disorder in 2018.

Learn more about addiction among Native Americans.

Addiction Among Hispanic/Latino Americans

The following statistics examine addiction among Hispanic/Latino Americans:14

  • Marijuana was the most used drug by Hispanic Americans in 2018.
  • There was a significant increase in marijuana use in Hispanic adults over 25 years old from 2017 to 2018 (from 5.6% to 6.5%).
  • There was a significant decrease in misuse of opioids among 18+ individuals in this population between 2015 and 2018.
  • Nearly 57% of young Hispanic adults between 28 and 25 with a serious mental illness in 2018 got no treatment.
  • More than 36% of Hispanic adults 18 and older with a mental illness engaged in past-month binge drinking.

Addiction Among White Americans

The following provides more information about addiction among white Americans:15

  • Almost a quarter of white Americans age 12 and older reported binge drinking in the past month in 2018.
  • 20% of white Americans 12 and older engaged in illicit drug use in 2018, while 6.4% engaged in past-month heavy alcohol use.
  • Nearly 17% of white Americans age 12 and older used marijuana in 2018.

Finding Customized Addiction Care

No demographic is immune to substance misuse and addiction. Thankfully, specialized help is available for all individuals who wish to find recovery and look toward a healthier future.

When choosing an addiction treatment facility, it’s important to ensure its staff has the capacity to effectively address your own personal needs.

At Greenhouse Treatment Center, we provide quality, evidence-based addiction treatment and tailor our treatment plans to meet the individual needs of each patient.

To learn more about the programs at our inpatient rehab in New Jersey, ways to pay for rehab, or using insurance to pay for rehab, contact us at . Our admissions navigators are available around the clock to answer any questions and help start the admissions process.

You can also quickly check your insurance coverage by filling out this confidential .

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