Defining The Problem

Addiction, trauma, and mental health issues impact many of us personally, but they also take a toll on society as a whole. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, alcohol and drug misuse and related disorders are major public health challenges. In a recent study, more than 27 million people in the US reported using illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs in the past month, and nearly a quarter of adults and adolescents reported binge drinking in that same period. At the same time, 70% of American adults report having experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. There’s an economic burden to consider as well, with addiction costing the US $249 billion each year.

Some Staggering Statistics:

  • Trauma is a risk factor in nearly all behavioral health and substance use disorders.
  • In 2018, there were 10.3 million people age 12 or older who misused opioids in the past year, according to 2018 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
  • An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • More than half of the 4.2 million people who misuse prescription opioids in the US also binge drink.
  • More than 12% of US children live with a parent with alcohol problems.
  • An estimated 2.0 million people aged 12 or older had an opioid use disorder based on 2018 NSDUH data.

SOURCES: The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration

Being Part of The Solution

The problem can seem overwhelming, but we know that intervention, education, and treatment make a difference.

In deciding how to make the most of our resources and expertise, The Meadows Institute honed in on four interdependent priorities that we believe can work together to help stem the tide.