Facts from the National Drug Threat Assessment 2011, released by the National Drug Intelligence Center

  • NDIC estimates that drug abuse costs the nation more than $120 billion per year in lost productivity

  • NDIC estimates that the annual cost of drug-related crime is more than $61 billion

  • NDIC estimates yearly drug-related healthcare costs to be more than $11 billion

  • The demand for most illicit drugs in the United States is rising, particularly among young people

  • The overall availability of illicit drugs in the United States is increasing. Heroin, marijuana, MDMA, and methamphetamine are readily available, and their availability appears to be increasing in some markets

Handcuffs & Drugs

Facts from the American Council for Drug Education

  • More than 70 percent of substance abusers hold jobs; one worker in four, ages 18 to 34, used drugs in the past year; and one worker in three knows of drug sales in the workplace.

  • Americans consume 60 percent of the world’s production of illegal drugs:  23 million use marijuana at least four times a week; 18 million abuse alcohol; 6 million regularly use cocaine; and 2 million use heroin.

  • Compared to their non- abusing coworkers, substance abusers are:

    • Ten times more likely to miss work
    • 3.6 times more likely to be involved in on-the-job accidents (and 5 times more likely to injure themselves or another in the process)
    • Five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim
    • 33% less productive
    • Responsible for health care costs that are three times as high.
    • Responsible for 40 percent of all industrial fatalities.


Facts from the 2011 SAMHSA National Survey

  • In 2011, an estimated 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used nonmedically.

  • In 2011, there were 1.4 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older

  • The number of persons who were past year heroin users in 2011 (620,000)

  • Hallucinogens were used in the past month by 972,000 persons (0.4 percent) aged 12 or older in 2011

  • Among unemployed adults aged 18 or older in 2011, 17.2 percent were current illicit drug users

  • In 2011, 9.4 million persons aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year.