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Addiction Facts & Statistics


Drug use statistics can be alarming, but the numbers also show a potential for help and healing. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Substance Abuse and Health states that while 21 million Americans aged 12 and over needed drug or alcohol treatment in 2016, only 3.8 million received the help they needed at a specialized treatment facility.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”

Addiction can result from a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, circumstances, environment, trauma and mental health disorders. Addiction is NOT an indication of a person’s moral status or stability. In fact, many addictions spring from prescription drug use or casual use of legal substances.

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