Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The Numbers

21.5 million American adults battled a substance use disorder in 2014 - drug and alcohol addiction

20.4 million American adults battled a substance use disorder in 2019.

Almost 80% of individuals suffering from a substance use disorder in 2014 struggled with an alcohol use disorder - drug and alcohol addiction

Almost 71.1% of individuals suffering from a substance use disorder in 2019 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.

1 in 12 American teens suffered from a substance use disorder in 2014 - drug and alcohol addiction

1 in 7 young adults aged 18-25 needed substance use treatment in 2018.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction: What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is characterized as the consistent use of any substance with mind-altering effects and a detrimental effect on the user’s character and mental stability. Addicted persons typically suffer from a pattern of cause and effect with destructive behavior and stress resulting from the addiction.

Signs & Symptoms

Possible Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse

  • Change in personality or tolerance level for people
  • Lying, manipulative behaviors
  • Significant change in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Feeling that you need the substance regularly and in some cases, intense cravings throughout the day
  • Making certain you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally would not do, such as stealing or prostitution
  • Feeling that you need the substance to deal with your problems
  • Driving or doing other activities that place you and others at risk of physical harm when you’re under the influence
  • Inability to fulfill major responsibilities at home, school, or work
  • Repeated legal problems because of substance abuse
  • Requiring more of the substance to produce the same effect
  • Repeated attempts and failures to limit substance use
  • Needing the substance to relieve withdrawal symptoms
  • Spending significant time using, recovering from, or obtaining a substance
  • Isolating from your family

Common Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

  • Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking. For example, performing poorly at work, flunking classes, neglecting your kids, or skipping out on commitments because you’re hung over.
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous, such as drinking and driving, operating machinery while intoxicated, or mixing alcohol with prescription medication against doctor’s orders.
  • Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking. For example, getting arrested for driving under the influence or for drunk and disorderly conduct.
  • Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships. Getting drunk with your friends, for example, even though you know your spouse will be very upset, or fighting with your family because they dislike how you act when you drink.
  • Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress. Many drinking problems start when people use alcohol to self-soothe and relieve stress.

For more information about how you can support someone who is dealing with a life-controlling issue, click here.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Mercy Multiplied can help. Our residential program helps young women ages 13-32. If you reside in Monroe, LA or St Louis, MO, please consider applying to our Center for Wellness and Counseling. These outpatient counseling services are offered to men and women 13 and older. Our residential and outpatient services are free-of-charge, and you can learn more about these services here. If you do not qualify for either of these programs, please consider finding a Christian counselor in your area or visit aacc.net.