Quick Stats

  • Killing nearly 100,000 Americans every year, alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death.
  • From 1997 to 2000 cocaine was the most common drug reported in emergency room episodes.
  • According to a survey of coroners and medical examiners, OxyContin has caused or contributed to at least 92 deaths during 2001 in the eight county Philadelphia region, up from 2000.
  • Of approximately 1.2 million "sometime" heroin users in the US, about 208,000 use it habitually.

Drug Statistics

Drug rehabilitation is a multi-phase, multi-faceted, long term process. Detoxification is only the first step on the road of addiction treatment. Physical detoxification alone is not sufficient to change the patterns of a drug addict. Rehabilitation from drug addiction involves an extended process which usually requires the help of drug addiction professionals. To make a successful recovery, the addict needs new tools in order to deal with situations and problems which arise. Factors such as encountering someone from their days of using, returning to the same environment and places, or even small things such as smells and objects trigger memories which can create psychological stress. This can hinder the addict's goal of complete recovery, thus not allowing the addict to permanently regain control of his or her life.

Almost all addicts tell themselves in the beginning that they can conquer their addiction on their own without the help of outside resources. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. When an addict makes an attempt at detoxification and to discontinue drug use without the aid of professional help, statistically the results do not last long. Research into the effects of long-term addiction has shown that substantial changes in the way the brain functions are present long after the addict has stopped using drugs. Realizing that a drug addict who wishes to recover from their addiction needs more than just strong will power is the key to a successful recovery. Battling not only cravings for their drug of choice, re-stimulation of their past and changes in the way their brain functions, it is no wonder that quitting drugs without professional help is an uphill battle. When an individual with a drug addiction problem and has made a conscious decision to stop abusing drugs, but has been unsuccessful in all attempts to do so on their own, it may become necessary to solicit help from a drug addiction treatment professional. The importance of choosing the appropriate type of treatment for an individuals specific situation should not be under estimated.

The initial step of choosing a rehab program should ensure that the most effective treatment method is selected which best fit the individuals specific treatment needs. If an incorrect evaluation is made when selecting a treatment modality the individual chances for failure increase significantly.

Drug addiction treatment should address the specific needs of each individual. There are varying degrees of drug problems. One individual may have a history of many prior attempts to end their addictive patterns and failed. For those who fall into this category, in patient residential treatment may prove fruitful. Research studies show that in patient treatment is the most successful modality for individuals with a multiple unsuccessful attempts at sobriety through out patient treatment .

On the other hand, an individual may only have a recent history of drug use and wishes to correct the situation, but may encounter difficulty in doing so on their own. For such an individual out patient treatment or counseling would most likely be the appropriate initial approach in addressing their situation.

Individuals with a history of many years of heavy drug use may have a more difficult time when it comes to ending their addictive patterns. The difficulty may lie in fact that their lifestyle has consisted of drug use for such an extended period of time that it may be difficult to imagine themselves living without drugs. This type of individual may greatly benefit from attending a long term inpatient drug rehabilitation program. This type of treatment generally involves a period of three to six months so as to provide the individual with an extensive change of environment as well as care twenty-four hours a day. Research has proven that this may be the most successful type of treatment for those who have a history of heavy substance abuse spanning over many years.

As you can see, it is important that you make an educated decision when choosing a drug treatment method. For many recovery has become a revolving door of treatment center after treatment center. This need not be the case. People overcome drug addiction everyday. The key is finding the correct solution for specific problem.

Drug statistics are used to determine drug trends, from abuse to legal consequences. Many networks have been established to provide cutting edge statistics on drug abuse in the United States and across the world. These networks use information gathered from everything between emergency room visits to medical examiners and coroners. Once this information is gathered it is then categorized by its informational content and compared to similar studies in the recent past. This information shows the "popularity" trends of certain drugs, deaths caused directly, or indirectly.

Statistical information on drugs can benefit the public by displaying factual evidence that certain drugs are becoming a problem, and also as information used in drug and alcohol debates. It is also hoped that the information showing the growing trends of drugs would give us an perspective on the future and help us prevent further increasing numbers of drug abuse.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 people aged between 16 and 59 said that they had taken at least one of the drugs.
  • People aged 18 to 21 were most likely to admit to having taken drugs, with almost half (46%) claiming to have taken them.
  • More men than women said that they had experience of drug taking. 24% of men and 16% of women had taken at least one kind of drug. Amongst those aged 18-21; 51% of men and 38% of women had taken drugs.
  • More men than women had experience of taking more than one drug. 52% of men but only 36% of women who had taken drugs had taken more than one type.
  • Cannabis was the most commonly used drug, experienced by 12% of all respondents and 24% of those aged between 18 and 25.
  • Amylnitrate was the next most popular drug type, experienced by 7% of all respondents and 17% of those aged between 18 and 25.
  • More people had experience of taking LSD (4%) than of taking ecstasy (3%). 13% of those aged 18-21 had ever taken ecstasy whereas 18% admitted taking LSD.

Nationwide Trends

This fact sheet highlights information from the latest published proceedings of NIDA’s Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG). The information covers current and emerging trends in drug abuse for 21 major U.S. metropolitan areas, as shared at CEWG's December 2001 meeting. The findings are intended to alert the general public, policy makers, and authorities at the local, State, regional, and national levels to the latest trends in drug abuse.*

The CEWG is a network of researchers from Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

CEWG members (epidemiologists and researchers) assess drug abuse patterns and trends from the health and other drug abuse indicator sources below. These data are enhanced with qualitative information from ethnographic research, focus groups, and other community-based sources:

  • the Treatment Episode Data Set (data from treatment facilities) and the Drug Abuse Warning Network (emergency room mentions and medical examiner deaths involving illicit drugs), both funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration;
  • the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, funded by the National Institute of Justice;
  • the System to Retrieve Information on Drug Evidence and other information on drug seizures, price, and purity, from the Drug Enforcement Administration;
  • drug seizure data from the United States Customs Service; and
  • the Uniform Crime Reports, maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Findings presented at the December 2001 CEWG meeting are based on comparisons of 1999 and 2000 data from these sources. The findings also may be supplemented



Although still at high levels, cocaine/crack indicators decreased in 10 CEWG sites, remained stable or mixed in 9, and increased in 2 (Atlanta and Seattle). In 2000, rates of emergency room cocaine mentions were higher than those for heroin/morphine in 16 sites, and were higher in all CEWG sites than rates for marijuana and methamphetamine. Adult arrestees were more likely to test positive for cocaine than opiates in 2000; in the sites where both men and women were tested, women were more likely to test positive for cocaine than marijuana. Year 2000 treatment admissions indicated that crack accounted for a substantially greater percentage of primary admissions than powder cocaine in all CEWG sites. However, indicators suggest that crack use has decreased as powder cocaine has become more available in Denver, Miami/South


CEWG indicators for heroin/morphine abuse increased in 2000 in 15 CEWG sites, remained stable in 2, and decreased in 4. The decreases were reported in Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle—areas where Mexican black tar heroin is the primary type available. Boston, New York, Newark, and Philadelphia report that heroin is relatively cheap, widely available, and of high purity. In 2000, heroin/morphine emergency room mentions were higher than those for cocaine in Baltimore, Newark, San Diego, and San Francisco and higher than rates for marijuana and methamphetamine in eight other CEWG sites. Heroin treatment admissions were especially high in Baltimore (64.3 percent), Boston (69.1 percent), and Newark (83.8 percent), and were more than half of the primary illicit drug admissions in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Among adult arrestees, particularly high rates of opiate-positive tests occurred in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. Heroin purity levels


Indicators of the illicit use of prescription narcotics, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone, increased in all 14 of the CEWG sites that report on these drugs. Emergency room mentions of oxycodone combinations were highest in Philadelphia, Boston, and Phoenix. Mentions for hydrocodone combinations were highest in Los Angeles and Detroit. Deaths involving hydrocodone, oxycodone, or both were reported in Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, and Texas. Abuse of codeine (in pill and cough syrup forms) was reported as a problem


Marijuana use indicators increased in 12 CEWG sites, remained stable or mixed in 8, and decreased in 1 (Atlanta). Marijuana emergency room mentions, arrests, and treatment admissions have been increasing. In 2000, emergency room mentions for marijuana increased significantly in seven CEWG sites. In Minneapolis, 49 percent of treatment admissions in 2000 were for primary abuse of marijuana; in Miami, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Seattle, marijuana admissions ranged from 31 to 37 percent. Among adult arrestees, the percentage of males testing marijuana-positive were higher than those testing cocaine-positive in 13


Methamphetamine use indicators increased in six of the seven CEWG areas that typically have high rates of emergency room methamphetamine mentions and/or high percentages of methamphetamine treatment admissions. These are: Denver, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle. Increases in indicators were also reported in Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis, and cities in Texas. San Francisco was the only CEWG site reporting a decrease in methamphetamine indicators in 2000. Sites reporting increases in methamphetamine availability and use, but still at low levels, were New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC Methamphetamine treatment admissions were especially high in Hawaii (46.6 percent) and San Diego (45.3 percent). Among adult arrestees in 2000, the highest methamphetamine-positive rates were among men and women in Honolulu, San Diego, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Availability of methamphetamine decreased in Chicago and San Francisco.


MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine; often called Ecstasy) indicators increased in 19 CEWG sites in 2000 and remained stable in 2 (New Orleans and Newark). Emergency room mentions increased significantly for MDMA in 14 CEWG sites. Although still small, the number of persons being admitted for treatment of primary MDMA abuse is increasing in Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Texas. Deaths associated with MDMA were reported in seven CEWG sites. Most MDMA pills are produced in Belgium and the Netherlands, but there have been reports of attempts to establish clandestine MDMA labs in CEWG sites such as Minneapolis, San Diego, and areas of Michigan and South Florida

Nationwide Trends provided by NIDA

Drug Trend Statistics Across the United States

Drug trends across the United States are indicators of the rate of drug abuse, drug addiction, domestic violence, and child abuse. The drug trends for each state has a direct correlation to the amount and type of drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, & marijuana) seized by federal authorities. Below are the federal drug seizures for each individual state. The statistics for federal drug seizures provide some indication of what drugs are being abused as well as the top drugs of abuse.

Alabama Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 357.9 kgs. Heroin: 0. kgs. Methamphetamine: 17.2 kgs. Marijuana: 332.6 kgs.

Arizona Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 3,345.7 kgs. Heroin: 7.9 kgs. Methamphetamine: 168.6 kgs. Marijuana: 218,877.8 kgs.

Arkansas Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 18.9 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 9.2 kgs. Marijuana: 2,281.1 kgs.

California Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 6,232.7 kgs. Heroin: 357.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 1,282.3 kgs. Marijuana: 217,626.2 kgs.

Colorado Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 206 kgs. Heroin: 2 kgs. Methamphetamine: 54 kgs. Marijuana: 455 kgs.

Connecticut Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 24.5 kgs. Heroin: 4.1 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0 kgs. Marijuana: 42.6 kgs.

Delaware Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 15.5 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0.3 kgs. Marijuana: 14.0 kgs.

Florida Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 7,359.4 kgs. Heroin: 633.6 kgs. Methamphetamine: 87.0 kgs. Marijuana: 30,185.4 kgs.

Georgia Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 967.6 kgs. Heroin: 15.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 77.4 kgs. Marijuana: 5,283.9 kgs.

Idaho Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 1.0 kgs. Heroin: 1.1 kgs. Methamphetamine: 15.6 kgs. Marijuana: 0 kgs.

Illinois Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 7,359.4 kgs. Heroin: 633.6 kgs. Methamphetamine: 87.0 kgs. Marijuana: 30,185.4 kgs.

Indiana Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 61.7 kgs. Heroin: 0.2 kgs. Methamphetamine: 31.4 kgs. Marijuana: 391.8 kgs.

Iowa Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 3.1 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 79.7 kgs. Marijuana: 199.9 kgs.

Kansas Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 305.5 kgs. Heroin: 1.7 kgs. Methamphetamine: 17.5 kgs. Marijuana: 2,539.4 kgs.

Kentucky Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 63.9 kgs. Heroin: 10.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 5.0 kgs. Marijuana: 436.1 kgs.

Louisiana Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 605.0 kgs. Heroin: 17.9 kgs. Methamphetamine: 1.7 kgs. Marijuana: 4, 110.5 kgs.

Maine Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 0.5 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0 kgs. Marijuana: 21.3 kgs.

Maryland Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 388.3 kgs. Heroin: 17.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0.4 kgs. Marijuana: 118.0 kgs.

Massachusetts Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 123.6 kgs. Heroin: 4.4 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0 kgs. Marijuana: 862.0 kgs.

Michigan Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 537.6 kgs. Heroin: 10.9 kgs. Methamphetamine: 2.1 kgs. Marijuana: 3,571.1 kgs.

Minnesota Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 31.8 kgs. Heroin: 13.5 kgs. Methamphetamine: 2.1 kgs. Marijuana: 798.2 kgs.

Mississippi Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 82.1 kgs. Heroin: 3.2 kgs. Methamphetamine: 1.5 kgs. Marijuana: 1,143.3 kgs.

Missouri Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 1,581.8 kgs. Heroin: 2.9 kgs. Methamphetamine: 14.8 kgs. Marijuana: 8,739.9 kgs.

Montana Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 0.6 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 3.4 kgs. Marijuana:136.4 kgs.

Nebraska Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 429.7 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 48.3 kgs. Marijuana: 437.7 kgs.

Nevada Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 13.0 kgs. Heroin: 1.7 kgs. Methamphetamine: 45.0 kgs. Marijuana: 42.8 kgs.

New Hampshire Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 3.7 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0 kgs. Marijuana: 0 kgs.

New Jersey Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 1,291.4 kgs. Heroin: 168.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0.2 kgs. Marijuana: 2,196.8 kgs.

New Mexico Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 374.0 kgs. Heroin: 6.1 kgs. Methamphetamine: 31.0 kgs. Marijuana: 52,018.0 kgs.

New York Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 3,861.0 kgs. Heroin: 801.5 kgs. Methamphetamine: 12.3 kgs. Marijuana: 2,658.0 kgs.

North Carolina Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 164.5 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 18.0 kgs. Marijuana: 3,826.8 kgs.

North Dakota Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 0 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 5.0 kgs. Marijuana: 2.4 kgs.

Ohio Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 343.3 kgs. Heroin: 18.2 kgs. Methamphetamine: 1.3 kgs. Marijuana: 2,440.9 kgs.

Oklahoma Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 51.3 kgs. Heroin: 0.1 kgs. Methamphetamine: 14.4 kgs. Marijuana: 2,861.4 kgs.

Oregon Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 46.9 kgs. Heroin: 5.3 kgs. Methamphetamine: 54.0 kgs. Marijuana: 125.0 kgs.

Pennsylvania Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 133.1 kgs. Heroin: 8.7 kgs. Methamphetamine: 1.4 kgs. Marijuana: 377.3 kgs.

Rhode Island Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 31.9 kgs. Heroin: 0.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0 kgs. Marijuana: 8.5 kgs.

South Carolina Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 126.8 kgs. Heroin: 6.2 kgs. Methamphetamine: 4.6 kgs. Marijuana: 4,283.8 kgs.

South Dakota Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 0 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 3.5 kgs. Marijuana: 2.9 kgs.

Tennessee Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 484.2 kgs. Heroin: 41.0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 29.5 kgs. Marijuana: 218.4 kgs.

Texas Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 15,192.9 kgs. Heroin: 142.0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 451.9 kgs. Marijuana: 613,107.3 kgs.

Utah Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 23.9 kgs. Heroin: 0.4 kgs. Methamphetamine: 6.6 kgs. Marijuana: 13.1 kgs.

Vermont Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 3.7 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0 kgs. Marijuana: 249.9 kgs.

Virginia Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 82.1 kgs. Heroin: 4.7 kgs. Methamphetamine: 19.1 kgs. Marijuana: 110.3 kgs.

Washington Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 174.2 kgs. Heroin: 15.1 kgs. Methamphetamine: 46.0 kgs. Marijuana: 4,182.8 kgs.

West Virginia Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 8.2 kgs. Heroin: 0.1 kgs. Methamphetamine: 0.5 kgs. Marijuana: 90.5 kgs.

Wisconsin Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 68.3 kgs. Heroin: 2.8 kgs. Methamphetamine: 16.8 kgs. Marijuana: 5.2 kgs.

Wyoming Federal Drug Seizures: Cocaine: 8.1 kgs. Heroin: 0 kgs. Methamphetamine: 13.2 kgs. Marijuana: 0 kgs.

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