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Addiction Statistics 2022

Addiction and Mental Health Treatment California


Substance addiction was a serious public health concern in 2022. Addicts faced additional hurdles in 2022 due to the widespread opioid epidemic, the introduction of strong new synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and the global spread of the chronically stressed COVID-19 pandemic.

However, creating awareness about addiction starts with thoroughly understanding the relevant statistics. So, the following are some of the addiction statistics for 2022.

Table of Contents

Drug Abuse Prevalence

Illegal drug use is significantly more prevalent than addiction disorders. Over half of all Americans have tried an illegal drug, including marijuana. Approximately 20% of the population, or one in every five, has taken an illegal substance in the previous year.

The following is the data on persons who have come forward to report  using illegal substances in the recent year:

  • Marijuana: 49.6 million
  • Prescription Painkillers: 9.3 million
  • Hallucinogens: 7.1 million
  • Tranquilizers or Sedatives: 6.2 million
  • Cocaine: 5.1 million
  • Prescription Stimulants: 5.1 million
  • LSD: 2.6 million
  • Methamphetamines: 2.6 million
  • Ecstasy: 2.6 million
  • Inhalants: 2.4 million
  • Heroin: 0.9 million
  • Crack: 0.7 million

These reports imply that, despite its growing societal acceptance, marijuana remains the most commonly used “illicit” substance in the United States. Also, prescription drugs are the second most common drug used for recreational purposes. These reports would give treatment centers a better idea of where to concentrate their treatment and prevention efforts.

Synthetic Drug Use

Synthetic drugs are becoming more popular. The most well-known is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid largely responsible for the recent rapid spike in opioid overdose fatalities. Synthetic drugs, on the other hand, include readily accessible yet technically legal research substances.

The term “research chemicals” is often used to designate a broad range of medications available in physical shops and on the internet. Some of them, such as bath salts (synthetic amphetamines) and spices (produced from “marijuana”), have gotten a lot of media attention. On the other hand, the quickness with which new medications reach the market is cause for alarm since little is known about the potential for harm or addiction offered by these synthetic drugs.

Substance Use, Sex, and Age of People in Addiction Treatment

Between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, 289,215 people joined drug addiction recovery programs. Just under half of all individuals, or 49%, sought treatment for opiate addiction. Over a quarter (29%) of the sample indicated solely alcohol-related difficulties, while another 22% reported problems with multiple substances.

Most treatment patients (67%) were male, with just 33% being female. This percentage varies greatly across medicines. Men account for 72% of opiate users, 67% of non-opiate users, and 70% of non-opiate and alcohol users. Males make up 58% of the population, and females make up 42% of those who only drink alcohol.

Problem Substances for People in Treatment

Since up to three substances may be recorded at the start of treatment, a single individual may be counted for multiple drugs in their substance group (for example, a person who uses cocaine, cannabis, and alcohol would appear in the non-opiate and alcohol groups for these three substances).

Opiates were the most commonly used substance, with much more people using them alone than in conjunction with crack. 51% of treatment participants self-reported having a crack, cocaine, or opiate addiction. Nearly half of the individuals polled said they had alcohol-related difficulties, with the great majority of those people concentrating only on alcohol. Cannabis, frequently classified as an opiate, was used by 20% of those polled. Twelve percent of people acknowledged taking cocaine, with the majority utilizing substances other than opioids and alcohol. The indicated drug consumption rates for benzodiazepines were 5% and 3% for amphetamines (excluding ecstasy).

Age Groups

The number of patients having treatment has been consistent with prior years, indicating a rise in the older age groups. Over half (58%) of the patients receiving treatment were middle-aged or older. Patients seeking non-opioid therapy were much younger than those seeking alcohol treatment. Opiate treatment center patients were 43 years old on average.

Patients who were first exposed to heroin during the 1980s and 1990s epidemics and are now at least 40 years old are flooding into opiate addiction treatment facilities. Sixty-nine percent of heroin users in 2021 and 2022 stated they first took the drug before 2001, while just nine percent said they first tried heroin in 2011 or later. Those who did not report using alcohol or drugs were younger than those who did.


About 46,000 patients (53%) reported smoking in the 1.5 months before commencing therapy. For all substances tested, the smoking rates among men and women were the same. For the adult population, smoking prevalence was continuously higher than the national average (15.8% for men and 12.1% for women). The incidence of smoking was considerably higher in each of these situations. Despite the high prevalence of smoking, only 4% of people were referred to a program to assist them in quitting. This is an increase from the 2% predicted for 2020 to the 4% predicted for 2021.

Numbers in Treatment

The overall number of patients has reached 289,215—a 2% rise over the previous year and the highest level since 2014–2015. The number of people who reported using just alcohol increased by 10% (7,957), the most of any drug group. Since the data have been preserved, 29,582 patients have sought non-opiate treatment. This figure is up 3% from the previous high of 28,777 in 2006–2007.

The number of non-opiate and alcohol users has progressively climbed from 27,684 in 2017 to 34,378 in 2018, a 24% increase. From 2017 to 2018, the opiate category remained constant, with a 0.4% decline suggesting this. Because countrywide data collection for alcohol treatment did not commence until 2009, only the numbers of those in treatment who claimed to have an alcohol issue are reported.

People Leaving Treatment

The proportion of patients who completed treatment and prevented recurrence declined to 48.5% between 2020 and 2022. This figure is consistent with previous years, beginning with 2015–2016 (50.5%). Fewer people completed the program overall, with the biggest drop happening among those who did not use opioids or alcohol (3.5%).

Deaths in Treatment

In 2021 and 2022, the ratio of fatalities per total number of patients treated fell drastically to 1.3%. This comes after a year in which the percentage of fatalities during treatment increased by the greatest margin ever recorded, from 1.1% to 1.4%.

The number of people who have died while receiving treatment has climbed by more than a factor of five in recent years, rising from 711 in 2005–2006 to 3,742 in 2022. Although this is the highest known number of fatalities among individuals seeking treatment, the proportion of those murdered while receiving treatment is lower than ever.

Don’t Be Among the Statistics

Prescription drug abuse is a major issue in today’s culture, second only to marijuana. This is particularly a concern since many individuals addicted to opioids later switch to heroin, where they risk exposure to harmful narcotics like fentanyl. In the next few years, prescription opioid addiction will be a major public health problem.

Addicts confront several hazards, including falls and overdoses. While attempting to get drugs, users of illegal substances are more susceptible to violence. At California Prime Recovery, we establish a caring environment to assist individuals in learning to live successful lives without using drugs or alcohol. Contact us today at 866-208-2390

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