Addiction Trends in the United States: Taylor Recovery Center, The Best Luxury Rehab in Houston, Texas


In the history of the United States, there has never been a greater prevalence of addiction. In 2018, 49.2% of the population had taken illicit substances at least once in their lifetime, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Heroin, cocaine, pain medications, and alcohol are among the most commonly misused substances. About 15,000 people lost their lives to a heroin overdose in 2018. Synthetic opioids were responsible for the deaths of 31,000 persons in that same year. This blog by addiction experts from Taylor Recovery Center uncovers the addiction trends in the United States.

Addiction Trends in The United States by Drug Type 

The use of both heroin and marijuana surged dramatically between 2004 and 2016, although to very different degrees. The increasing rates of cannabis use during this time period have been attributed, at least in part, to the drug’s legalization in several states. Whether or not legalization leads to increased marijuana use is an open subject, with varying studies yielding conflicting results. The causes of the recent heroin epidemic are more evident: In the late aughts, when doctors were less likely to prescribe opioids, many patients found a substitute in the black market.  During this time, the overall popularity of many drugs actually fell. These included drugs like methamphetamine and crack cocaine that had been widely condemned in previous decades. The public’s PCP use also significantly decreased in 2016 compared to 2004; this is encouraging given the drug’s reputation for inciting violent behavior. Since adolescents are the demographic most likely to use inhalants, this decline can be attributable to the declining trend in drug usage among this age group as a whole.

Addiction Trends in The United States by Age Group

Young adults (18-25) have the highest rates of use for several substances. The college years are known for their heavy use of recreational drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine. Recently, educators around the country have voiced alarm about the rising prevalence of marijuana usage on college campuses.  The use of heroin and crack cocaine among Americans aged 18 to 25 lagged behind other age groups by 2016. People aged 26 to 34 were the unfortunate recipients of this honor. There was also a rise in the usage of ecstasy and marijuana among this slightly older age group.

Drug Overdose Statistics

  • Methamphetamine

Overdose deaths from psychostimulants (most commonly methamphetamine) grew steadily since 2012, reaching 16,167 in 2019.

  • Synthetic Opioids

About 31,000 people in the United States died from an overdose of synthetic opioids in 2018. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 10% increase in synthetic opioid-related fatal overdoses. There were 36,359 documented overdose deaths in 2019 due to the use of synthetic opioids besides methadone (mostly fentanyl).

  • Heroin

About 15,000 people in the United States lost their lives to a heroin overdose in 2018. Deaths from heroin overdoses reduced by 4.1% in 2018 compared to 2017 figures. The use of heroin was reportedly responsible for 14,019 deaths in 2019.

  • Cocaine

Cocaine overdose deaths rose from 3,822 in 1999 to 15,883 in 2019. Cocaine overdose deaths are primarily caused by the drug being combined with synthetic opioids.

  • Benzodiazepines

The number of people who have died from a benzodiazepine overdose has risen dramatically, from 1,135 in 1999 to 11,537 in 2016. The death toll fell to 9,711 between 2017 and 2019.


Reach Out to Taylor Recovery Center for The Best Addiction Treatment in a Comfortable Environment in Houston

Taylor Recovery Center is in the front lines of the fight against addiction. Our luxury rehab facility in Houston, Texas, is committed to offering unrivaled care, support, and hope to people struggling with addiction. If you or a loved one requires support, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our knowledgeable and caring staff is eager to assist you on your path to rehabilitation, healing, and long-term wellness. Furthermore, awareness and education are the bedrocks of addiction prevention. We urge you to look through our resources, participate in our community projects, and advocate for legislation that promote prevention and treatment. We can achieve a healthy, addiction-free Texas by working together, paving the path for a brighter future for all. Your efforts now can have a significant impact on the lives of those impacted by addiction. Join us at Taylor Recovery Center as we work to make our community stronger, healthier, and addiction-free.

About Harold P. Wickham

View all posts by Harold P. Wickham →