Alarming state of drug abuse in the United States

Drug Abuse Emerges as an Election Issue
Drug Abuse Emerges as an Election Issue

More people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record, according to the CDC. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that almost 10 percent of Americans aged 12 or older were current illicit drug users and the White House kicked off 2015 by proposing what administration officials consider 'critical investments' to combat drug abuse.

Here's a look at drug abuse trends in America:

In the past decade, heroin abuse in the U.S. has increased significantly, especially in the northeast and midwest. According to a report by the Drug Enforcement Administration, deaths caused by heroin overdoses increased by 172% between 2010 and 2013. With heroine overdoses more than tripling in the last four years, the White House released a plan to spend $5 million to combating heroin use and trafficking.

See how heroin abuse has taken over one Ohio community:


According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with 19.8 million current users at the time of the survey. The survey also found that marijuana was used by 80.6 percent of current illicit drug users. The World Health Organization ranks the United States first among 17 European and North American countries for prevalence of marijuana use. Currently, 23 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the use of marijuana in some form.

See marijuana legality by state below:

Prescription and over-the-counter medications
According to the CDC, 44 people in the U.S. die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers like hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), and oxymorphone (Opana). Nearly two million Americans abused prescription painkillers in 2013. Deaths from prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999, killing more than 16,000 people in the U.S. in 2013. Although deaths from prescription painkillers have increased in the last decade, 2012 saw the first national drop in prescription overdose deaths since the 1990s.

See deaths from prescription drug abuse in the U.S. below:

52% of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that one in every 12 adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. Alcohol abuse is the third highest cause of death in the U.S., with 88,000 deaths attributed to excessive alcohol use annually. According to the CDC, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver everyday, amounting to one death every 51 minutes.

See percent of rehab admits due to alcohol below:

In the last 50 years, the adult smoking rate has been cut by 60 percent, but tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death in the country. Tobacco related health care costs in the United States total about $170 billion a year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite the health risks associated with tobacco, data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that tobacco companies spend $9.6 billion a year on marketing efforts. Although the use of cigarettes is declining, e-cigarettes use is on the rise.

See e-cigarette vs cigarette use below:

More on drug abuse:
Study finds peak months for college students' 1st drug use
Heroin proves a formidable foe in suburban Ohio county
Colombia to legalize commercial sale of medical marijuana