Current Alcohol trends among Americans:

  • Nearly 17.6 million adult Americans abuse alcohol or are alcoholic.
  • 53 percent of men and women in the United States report that one or more of their close relatives have a drinking problem. *1

Current Drug trends among Americans:

  • more than 5.9 million persons a used cocaine in the past year
  • 22.5 million Americans are classified with substance dependence or abuse.
  • 70.3 million Americans are current users of a tobacco product *2

Drug and alcohol abuse statistics among youth are alarming:

  • 1.5 million youth met criteria for admission to alcohol treatment (of these, only 120,000 received treatment)
  • Each year about 1900 persons under 21 die in motor vehicle crashes that involve underage drinking. (About another 500 persons over age 21 also die in these crashes)
  • Almost 20% of 8th-graders, and 42% of 10th-graders have been drunk at least once.
  • Approximately 19% of 8th-graders, 35% of 10th-graders, and 48% of 12th-graders report having consumed alcohol during the past month.*3
  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 reported the highest rate of current use of any tobacco products (44.8 percent). *4

Researchers draw similar alarming conclusions about the broad use of drugs. They find that by the time seniors graduate from high school

  • 51% have used an illicit drug
  • 46% have used Marijuana
  • 10% have used inhalants
  • 8% have used Cocaine
  • 76% have tried alcohol
  • 53% have used cigarettes*4


1. National Institute of Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism. Revised 2001.
NIH Publication. Bethesda, MD.
2. National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health. 12 Aug. 2005.
3. Initiative on Underage Drinking. November 2005
Bethseda, MD.
4. Trends in Use. Revised December 2004.
National Institute of Health. Rockville, MD.