Facts and Resources
▶ Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of premature mortality in the United States. On average 87,800 people die from alcohol-related causes annually in the United States 
▶ 3.3 million people die from alcohol in a year worldwide 
▶ 2 million Americans in 2015 had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers 
▶ About 591,000 people in the USA had a heroin use disorder in 2015 
▶ 230 million people worldwide (1 in 20 adults) are estimated to have used an illicit drug at least once in 2010 
▶ From 2002 to 2015 there was a 4.3-fold increase in the total number of deaths from benzodiazepines 
▶ Only about 20% of adults with alcohol abuse or dependence have ever received treatment 
▶ It is estimated that 80% of patients with benzodiazepine disorder use other drugs 
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 World health Organization
 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
 National Center for Health Statistics, CDC
 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol & Related Conditions (NESARC)
 Gold MS, Miller NS, Stennie K, Populla-Vardi C. Epidemiology of benzodiazepine use and dependence. Psychiatr Annals 1995;25:146-8
24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Trained specialists helping parents whose children are abusing drugs or alcohol.
Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm ET,
Veteran's Crisis Line
Connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential, toll-free 24/7, 365 days a year hotline, online chat, or text.
1-800-273-8255 :: TTY: 1-800-799-4889
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Helping friends and family who are addicted to drugs.
WHAT IS A DRUG ADDICTION? SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Definition of Addiction by American Society of Addiction Medicine
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.
Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
DSM V CRITERIA FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER
Use in larger amounts/longer periods than intended
Unsuccessful efforts to cut down
Excessive time spent taking drug
Failure to fulfill major obligations
Continued use despite knowledge of problems
Important activities given up
Recurrent use in physically hazardous situations
Continued use despite social or interpersonal problems
Tolerance as defined by either a need for markedly increased amounts to achieve intoxication or desired effect or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount.
Withdrawal manifesting as either characteristic syndrome or the substance is used to avoid withdrawal
Craving or a strong desire to use
The Severity of each Substance Use Disorder is based on:
0 to 1 criteria: No diagnosis
2 to 3 criteria: Mild
4 to 5 criteria: Moderate
6 or more criteria: Severe