10% of US Population Has Overcome Drugs or Alcohol

Posted by Melissa in Alcohol & Other Drugs

From Time Magazine, March 7th, 2012

A new poll finds that 1 in 10 adults — or 23.5 million Americans — has successfully overcome a problem with alcohol or illegal drugs. The poll also found that 34% of adults had successfully quit smoking.

The telephone survey, which was funded by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and conducted in conjunction with the Partnership at Drugfree.org, included responses from more than 2,500 people over 18, who were asked, “Did you used to have a problem with drugs or alcohol but no longer do?”

“This research marks a vitally important step for those who are struggling with addiction by offering clear evidence to support what many know experientially — that millions of Americans have found a path to recovery,” New York State OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said in a statement.

Males and people with lower levels of education were more likely to have kicked a substance problem: 23% of high school dropouts reported having overcome a drug or alcohol issue, compared with just 4% of college graduates. And more men than women reported having quit: 12% versus 7%.

Based on earlier studies, however, these difference don’t suggest that women and college graduates are less likely to succeed in recovery, but rather that they are less likely to have developed problems with addiction in the first place. For example, in addiction treatment, there are typically two men for every woman.

Read more at Time Magazine.