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Drug Abuse Statistics

Sadly, drug abuse and addiction is an epidemic worldwide. The current trend is towards an increasing number of people who are engaged in using and abusing both legal and illegal substances. Recently, the number of overdose deaths reached an al-time record amount for 2021.

Although fentanyl and other opioids grab most of the headlines, there are other drugs that also need to be brought into the conversation.

Crystal meth use, abuse and addiction has been a real problem for a long time. Here are some data and facts about the ongoing meth problem. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH)

How many people have a methamphetamine use disorder?

  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, an estimated 0.6% (or about 1.6 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder in the past 12 months (2021 DT 5.1).


According to the DEA, “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid approved by the FDA for use as a pain reliever and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.”

According to the CDC:

  • Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
  • download fentanyl fact sheet from the DEA.

Overdose deaths

The CDC National Center for Health Statistics dataset indicates the number of overdose deaths from opioids was over 100,000 in 2021. According to the Center for Disease Controls;

  • Estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the prior year.
  • An estimated overdose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the prior year.


Marijuana is the most widely used in the United States. The latest statistics from the CDC indicate the following marijuana use statistics;

  • Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States; 48.2 million people, or about 18% of Americans, used it at least once in 2019.
  • Recent research estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder.
  •  For people who begin using marijuana before age 18, the risk of developing marijuana use disorder is even greater.

Read our article all about addiction.

See how long Hydrocodone can be detected in a drug test here.